99 not the only reason the Heritage Classic alumni game will be a treat


99 not the only reason the Heritage Classic alumni game will be a treat

You could start and stop with Wayne Gretzky, and you’d have more than enough star power for the alumni game that will be part of this fall’s Heritage Classic.

The rest of the players participating in the game, however, is enough to make it the hotter ticket of the two that will be played at Winnipeg’s Investors Group Field on the Oct. 22 23 weekend.

Gretzky, who took part in Sunday’s press conference via satellite from Los Angeles, pointed out he doesn’t play in many alumni contests, so his presence alone will make Winnipeg’s outdoor weekend stand out among the plethora of other outdoor games that have become too much of a good thing on the NHL calendar.

Dale Hawerchuk. Teemu Selanne. Bobby Hull. Mark Messier. Paul Coffey. Jari Kurri. There will also be the long awaited appearance of Jets 1.0 jerseys for Winnipeg’s Generation X fans who have been clamouring since 2011 for True North Sports and Entertainment to make a nod towards the past.

we very much wanted to honour the history of the Jets back then, True North chairman Mark Chipman said Sunday, were really more interested in doing so properly. entire weekend will give fans a chance to relive the past, as the annual True North Foundation’s annual gala dinner will be held on Friday, Oct. 21, and will feature many of the alumni game’s participants.wholesale nfl jerseys from china

rallied a few players already, Gretzky said. talked to Mark Messier and Paul Coffey, and they’re going to play. Blair MacDonald, one of the original captains of the Oilers, has agreed to play. Some younger guys like Kelly Buchberger, and of course I can’t come to Winnipeg without my left winger Dave Semenko and my right winger Jari Kurri. will captain the Jets alumni squad, and on Sunday he tossed out many names from Winnipeg’s WHA and NHL history he would love to see be a part of the Classic weekend in one way or another.

try and get a group of players that bring in some of the WHA: Bobby Hull and (Anders) Hedberg and (Ulf) Nilsson, that great line. Mark (Chipman) mentioned Ab McDonald, the first captain. I’ve known Ab since I was a Jet here and has been a big part of hockey in Manitoba.

try and get some of my former teammates out, maybe my old linemates Brian Mullen and Paul MacLean. Maybe Randy Carlyle, we’ll see if we can get him back on the point. I know Dave Ellett’s excited to come back and Dave Babych. course, some fans who see Selanne in a Jets jersey again will end up shedding a few tears.

Winnipeg dominated Edmonton when they were in the WHA, but it was the other way around after they joined the NHL together in 1979. The Oilers won all six NHL playoff meetings before the Jets left for Arizona in 1996.

No wonder Gretzky and Co. agreed to play in the alumni game. They couldn’t pass up the chance to beat up on the Jets once again.

not even going to go there, Kevin Lowe, a former Oilers defenceman and now a team executive, said with a smile on Sunday. were never well liked, but I know there was a respect for the team. never regretted having the Oilers in the Smythe Division, which most people believe is the case.

know what? It was great, because it was such a challenge and we looked forward to it all the time, Hawerchuk said. were competitors, and we loved to compete. They had a great hockey club. We couldn’t wait to play them, and we can’t wait to play them again in October. took long enough, but the Winnipeg Jets, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the NHL were finally able to figure out a date for the fourth Heritage Classic.

Talks were held to have the game after last year’s Grey Cup at Investors Group Field and use the temporary seating, but a deal couldn’t get done. As a result, capacity for the Classic and the alumni game will be what it is for Bomber home games: 33,427.

That will make it the smallest crowd for an NHL outdoor game since they started being played in 2003, but deputy commissioner Bill Daly believes the intimate setting will make it memorable for fans.

haven’t been there personally, but I understand that it will work really well for a hockey game, Daly said. a close and tight venue, and the fans will be much closer to the rink than they are typically in some of our outdoor games. Bombers have the bye and a road game during the middle of October, so the Classic won’t impact their schedule. The Manitoba Bisons football team, which also plays at IGF, will likely have to go three weeks without a home game, however.

Bomber fans won’t get first crack at tickets for the Classic since the NHL will run the game, but the Winnipeg Football Club will make money off the venture.

another event at the stadium, said Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller, who attended Sunday’s press conference. entertainment tax and those types of things. It’s another great event that will happen because of Investors Group Field. the alumni and regular season games are expected to be played in the mid to late afternoon.

Winnipeg’s outdoor game against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 23 will be the fourth Heritage Classic, which always features two Canadian teams. A look at the first three:

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