Two communities within an hour’s drive of the Nation’s Capital have been nominated and named to the top 16 finalists for the Annual Kraft Hockeyville contest.
The Richmond Memorial Arena in (fittingly enough) Richmond and the Leo Boivin Community Centre in Prescott both made the grade for the top 8 Eastern Canada finalists. Voting can be done online for the contest at KraftHockeyVille.ca, and it ends Monday night just before midnight.
Just for making it this far in the process, each of the communities that don’t move on to the next round will be given $25,000 for arena upgrades. The top two in each of the Western and Eastern voting will move on to the next round, and be guaranteed $50,000 for their community arenas. The winner of the top 4 round of voting will get the Annual NHL preseason game in September as well as $100,000 for their rink.
The Ottawa Senators have played in the Kraft Hockeyville game on 3 occasions, including the first game in Truro, Nova Scotia against the Montreal Canadiens in 2006. The winning entry was Deuvilles, NS, but the rink was too small to hold the game so it was moved to the nearby community.
Perhaps the most intriguing and puzzling game in the series was in the second year of the competition, where North Bay, Ontario hosted a preseason game between the New York Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers, the only game to date that didn’t have at least one Canadian based team involved.
The Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets played in Belleville in the fall of 2013, in a makeshift Hockeyville game after the contest was altered from its usual format due to the lingering lockout of 2012-13. The 2012 game had been awarded to nearby Stirling, but couldn’t be played due to the work stoppage, so the NHL made up for it in 2013.