That’s why it’s safe to say we wouldn’t give away the title of “most Canadian hockey game ever” very lightly. Hockey and Canada go hand-in-hand, after all, so this would have to be one epic matchup to earn that kind of status.
Well folks, we aren’t here to disappoint.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told TSN on Tuesday that there have been “a number of discussions” that have been going on between the federal government and the NHL about hosting a hockey game on Parliament Hill.
That’s right, Canada’s favourite game would be played in Canada’s capital in front of Canada’s parliamentary buildings–a good start. But there’s more.
The proposed match would be set for 2017. Which would mean the game would fall on the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation AND the 100th anniversary of the very first NHL game.
You can almost taste the maple syrup in your mouth right now, can’t you?
“…it’s not a far-fetched idea – it’s physically possible,” Watson said. “You probably wouldn’t be able to have as many spectators because you wouldn’t have the space and there are obviously security concerns, but my understanding is that the federal groups that are responsible have said it is a possibility.”
In other words, limited seating = ultra exclusive. The proposed matchup would see the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens face off on the hill (sorry, Leafs/Oilers/Canucks/Flames/Jets fans).
Now, before we get too excited, there are some slight hurdles that need to be overcome before the game can happen. Watson referenced the main one–the seating issue. But Senators president Cyril Leeder told TSN about a Montreal-based company that set up an 80,000-seat temporary venue for a U2 concert, which has also been in talks with the NHL about pop-up stadium models for outdoor hockey games.
“It’s a large area and obviously an artificial ice surface would have to be installed and temporary seating because there’s no seating at all there,” Watson said. “But these are things that have been done in other jurisdictions, so it’s not out of the question. I think just from a patriotic point of view and with a wow factor to have the Peace Tower and the Parliament buildings and a rink nestled between the East Block and the West Block would be fantastic.”
Now, if every fan brings a Tim Hortons coffee and their trustee pet moose, we might really be onto something here.
We’ll see you on the Hill in 2017.