JETS, FLAMES FACE OFF OUTDOORS
The Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames face off tonight in the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic (10 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CST, CBC, SN1, CITY, TVAS2, NBCSN) – the League’s 28th regular-season outdoor game and fifth in the Heritage Classic series.
The Jets and Flames each have participated in one prior outdoor game, both under the Heritage Classic umbrella.
Winnipeg played host to the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field, falling 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers. Nine Jets players who appeared in that game remain with the team: Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Connor Hellebuyck, Patrik Laine, Adam Lowry, Josh Morrissey, Mathieu Perreault, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.
Current Calgary goaltender Cam Talbot started for Edmonton in that contest, stopping all 31 shots he faced for the third shutout in outdoor NHL game history. Current Jets forward Mark Letestu scored the winning goal (while shorthanded), as a member of the Oilers. And current Flames forward Milan Lucic recorded two penalty minutes for Edmonton.
Calgary served as hosts for the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Two players who appeared in that game remain with the Flames: Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano.
Overall, the Jets feature 11 players who have participated in a prior outdoor NHL game (minimum: 1 GP in 2019-20), while the Flames have four. Talbot leads that group with four such appearances, though he served as a backup goaltender for three of them (2014 SS w/ NYR [2 GP], 2019 SS w/ PHI).
HISTORY OF NHL HOCKEY IN WINNIPEG, CALGARY . . .
NHL hockey first arrived in Winnipeg in 1979-80, when the World Hockey Association’s Winnipeg Jets joined the League as part of a four-team expansion. One season later, the Flames relocated from Atlanta to Calgary to bring Alberta its second NHL franchise (joining the Edmonton Oilers).
The teams met for the first time (as the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames) on Nov. 5, 1980, at Winnipeg Arena. Down 5‑2 midway through the third period, Calgary scored three unanswered goals (in a span of 3:48) to force a 5-5 tie.
The Jets and Flames played together in the Smythe Division from 1982-83 through 1992-93. During that time, they met in three straight postseasons (1985, 1986 and 1987). Winnipeg defeated Calgary, 3-1, in the 1985 Smythe Division Semifinals for its first playoff series victory. The Flames bounced back the following season with a 3-0 sweep in the opening round. The Jets won their last postseason encounter, 4-2, also in the Smythe Division Semifinals.
Overall, the original Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames faced off 105 times during the regular season from 1980-81 through 1995-96, the Jets’ final season in Winnipeg before relocating to Arizona. The Jets went 38-51-16 (92 points) in the head-to-head series, while the Flames went 51-38-16 (118 points).
NHL hockey and the Jets returned to Winnipeg in 2011-12 following the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers. The Flames and current version of the Jets have met 19 times since that season, with Calgary owning an 11-7-1 (23 points) advantage in the head-to-head series (WPG: 8-10-1, 17 points).
The teams will play each other two more times in 2019-20: March 14 and March 31, both in Calgary.
. . . AND IN SASKATCHEWAN
The NHL has staged six prior regular-season games in Saskatchewan, all at SaskPlace in Saskatoon during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons. Both the original Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames played in two of those contests:
Jan. 24, 1994
VAN 5 at EDM 4 (OT)
Dec. 23, 1993
CGY 3 at VAN 4
March 11, 1993
MNS 4 at VAN 3
Feb. 23, 1993
WIN 8 at OTT 2
Jan. 18, 1993
HFD 7 at WIN 8
Oct. 13, 1992
CGY 4 at MNS 3
The NHL also has played five preseason games in Saskatchewan dating to 2009-10, including two in Regina:
Sept. 27, 2017
EDM 4 at CAR 0
Oct. 4, 2016
TOR 2 at OTT 3
Sept. 26, 2015
MIN 0 at EDM 3
Sept. 17, 2013
CGY 4 at NYI 2
Sept. 21, 2009
OTT 3 at TBL 1
DID YOU KNOW?
* The Edmonton Oilers played host to the inaugural Heritage Classic and first-ever regular-season outdoor NHL game on Nov. 22, 2003, at Commonwealth Stadium. A sellout crowd of 57,167 braved extreme cold as the visiting Montreal Canadiens claimed a 4-3 win.
* This season’s game between the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames marks the fifth in the Heritage Classic series, following previous such contests in 2003 (EDM vs. MTL, Commonwealth Stadium), 2011 (CGY vs. MTL, McMahon Stadium), 2014 (VAN vs. OTT, BC Place) and 2016 (WPG vs. EDM, Investors Group Field).
* Regina will become the 14th Canadian city – and second in Saskatchewan – to play host to a regular-season NHL game (indoors or outdoors), following the seven current Canadian franchises plus Fort Erie, Ont.; Halifax, N.S.; Hamilton, Ont.; Quebec City, Que.; Saskatoon, Sask.; and Windsor, Ont.
* The province of Saskatchewan accounts for 3 percent of Canada’s total population (according to the 2016 census) and has produced nearly 10 percent of the country’s all-time NHL players – the most NHLers among all provinces (as well as any U.S. state or European nation) on a per-capita basis.
* A total of 516 players in NHL history have been born in Saskatchewan. Those players have skated in more than 137,000 games, have recorded 21,000+ goals and 56,000+ points, and have won a combined 171 Stanley Cups.
* Mosaic Stadium, the site of the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, also will be the venue for the 2020 Grey Cup. The Saskatchewan Roughriders, City of Regina and Province of Saskatchewan will play host to the CFL’s championship game for the first time since 2013.
OUTDOOR NHL GAME NOTES AND TRENDS
* There have been 27 regular-season outdoor NHL games to date: 11 Winter Classics, 10 Stadium Series, four Heritage Classics, one Centennial Classic and one NHL100 Classic.
* Sixteen outdoor NHL games have taken place at football venues, 10 have been hosted by baseball parks and one has been staged in a soccer stadium.
* The NHL’s 27 outdoor games have drawn total attendance of 1,459,359 – an average of 54,050 per game.
* A total of 755 skaters, goaltenders and head coaches have participated in the NHL’s 27 outdoor games to date.
* Road teams are 16-8-3 in the League’s 27 outdoor games. Home teams are 11-13-3 overall, but 6-1-1 in the last eight and 7-3-1 in the past 11.
* Teams that score first are 15-8-4 in the NHL’s 27 outdoor games, including a 10-2-2 record in the last 14 such contests.
* Thirteen of the League’s 27 outdoor games have featured a comeback win (48.1%), including both such contests in 2018-19 (Boston Bruins: 2019 WC at CHI, Philadelphia Flyers: 2019 SS vs. PIT).
* Six of the NHL’s 27 outdoor games have required overtime, with four decided in the 5-minute extra session and two determined in a shootout.
HERITAGE CLASSIC ENTERTAINMENT
The 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic will feature a lineup of musical performers with roots in Saskatchewan.
The formal game day festivities will begin with the Opening Ceremony presented by SiriusXM, featuring a performance by Jess Moskaluke and the Hunter Brothers with a special appearance by Cadets and Officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from both Regina’s Training Academy and Saskatchewan’s “F” Division.
The anthem ceremony will feature the Hunter Brothers’ rendition of the Canadian national anthem; the unfurling of the Canadian flag by 50 members of the Canadian Armed Forces from Regina and Moose Jaw, including the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force; and a flyover by a CC-130H Hercules aircraft from the 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron based in Winnipeg.
In celebration of past trailblazers and the promising future of indigenous hockey in Canada, Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first indigenous players in the NHL; Brigette Lacquette, the first indigenous player on Canada’s Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team; and two local youth hockey players will take part in a ceremonial puck drop.
The first intermission is presented by Ticketmaster and will feature a performance by the multiplatinum-selling band The Sheepdogs. JUNO Award winner Jess Moskaluke will return to the stage for a performance during the second intermission.
Throughout the game, Canadian supergroup Toque will serve as the house band and will treat fans to a setlist of classic Canadian hits.
The PreGame at the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, the official fan festival of the outdoor game, will entertain fans of all ages at Confederation Park both today and tomorrow.
Highlighting The PreGame are the Tim Hortons Coffee Trucks, where fans can receive a free cup of Canada’s favorite coffee or hot chocolate and spin to be entered for a chance to win a trip to the 2020 Honda NHL All- Star Game. The Stanley Cup also will be on display in addition to live musical performances by local Regina cover bands, Wonderland on Saturday and Fog Dog on Sunday.
Admission to The PreGame is free and open to the public. A ticket to the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic is NOT required for access, but fans will need to go through security screening to enter.
Click here for more details on interactives and attractions.
‘NHL HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE’ SCHOLARSHIP
The NHL, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames have jointly invested $300,000 to fund a new scholarship available to undergraduate students who play hockey at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan as a lasting legacy of the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.
The scholarship will be available each year to four students: one female and one male hockey player at each school. Chosen based on the core values of ‘Hockey Is For Everyone,’ recipients will be those who strive to provide a positive and inclusive environment, while also showing leadership and good sportsmanship on and off the ice. Each scholarship recipient will receive a one-year grant to aid in covering post-secondary costs.
The details of the ‘NHL Hockey Is For Everyone’ scholarship were announced Friday during a luncheon cohosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL), a nonprofit corporation that operates the 100-acre Evraz Place property that includes Mosaic Stadium.