Senators, Canadiens set to announce outdoor game this morning

The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens will announce an Ottawa outdoor NHL game at a news conference Friday morning, sources have confirmed.

Talk of outdoor game to mark 100th anniversary of NHL's 1st game has swirled for years

The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens played 100 years ago on Dec. 19, 1917. Details of an outdoor rematch will be announced today. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens will announce an Ottawa outdoor NHL game at a news conference Friday morning, sources have confirmed.

Joining the owners of the teams at the news conference, to be held today at 11 a.m. ET at the Château Laurier hotel, will be NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna, the minister in charge of Parks Canada.

Sources with knowledge of the announcement say details of the outdoor game in Ottawa will be revealed at the event, CBC News has learned.

A representative of Scotiabank will also be at the event. Scotiabank was the sponsor of the NHL Centennial Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Jan. 1 this year.

Also present will be NHLPA divisional player representative Chris Campoli, Senators captain Erik Karlsson and 100 Greatest NHL Players Mike Bossy, Paul Coffey, Dave Keon, Guy Lafleur, Frank Mahovlich, Bernie Parent and Bryan Trottier.

Game to mark anniversaries

Discussion surrounding an outdoor event to mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL's first game between Ottawa and Montreal has been a hot topic in the capital for years. The game is expected to be a signature event marking Canada's 150th anniversary.

The teams have been in negotiations with the league, and have been working with the city to make such an event happen in December 2017.

The Ottawa Senators originally wanted to play the game in front of Parliament Hill, but the department of Canadian Heritage nixed the idea over logistical problems. Since then the negotiations have focused on Lansdowne Park.

Hockey fans excited

The news is already generating a lot of excitement in the hockey world as fans begin thinking about how they'll get tickets. Outside the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday, Michael Meagher said he definitely wants to go.

"I really want to go ... it's old-time hockey as far as I'm concerned," he said.

"It's what we did when we were kids and everyone just wants to go enjoy themselves."

"I think we all better dress nice and warm, but it will be lots of fun," said Sens fan Steve Romain.
Steve Romain said he expects the outdoor game to be 'lots of fun.' (CBC News)

"We've seen it lots in the past in other places, it seems to be exceptional," he added.

The match will make things even more interesting, according to Canadiens fan Pauline Terrien. It's always very competitive when the Habs face the Sens in Ottawa.

"It's basically half and half from the old Ottawa fans who used to cheer for Montreal, so whomever scores, it's like half and half," Terrien said.