The 2016-17 season will be the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 100th anniversary. So, to honor the Original Six team’s history, the NHL has formed a new outdoor hockey game that will take place north of the border on New Year’s Day.
The Maple Leafs will host the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Centennial Classic on Jan. 1, 2017, at Toronto’s BMO Field.
“This meeting of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs offers an ideal launch for a fantastic 2017 — the year in which the National Hockey League will celebrate its Centennial, Toronto will commemorate 100 years of NHL play and Canada will observe the 150th anniversary of Confederation,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Since the Red Wings and Maple Leafs made NHL outdoor history by drawing more than 105,000 people to ‘The Big House’ in 2014, this unique rematch provides a perfect beginning to an historic year for our League, our Clubs and our fans.”
The traditional Winter Classic still will take place, but it will be on Jan. 2 next year and feature a matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues, sources told ESPN Senior Writer Pierre LeBrun.
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