Why There Is No Alumni Game For Ottawa – Vancouver Heritage Classic


Our Fansided NHL Vancouver site, the Canuck Way, reported earlier this week that due to time restraints at BC Place Stadium, there will be no other on-ice events surrounding the Heritage Classic between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks, including an Alumni game, and now we know why.

The game on March 1st will be a one-off and it will not be a hockey festival like a majority of the outdoor games that have been staged so far over the past few years.  The Winter Classic this year featured 2 Alumni games between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, as well as other games staged at Comerica Park, away from the main draw that took place at the Big House at Michigan Stadium.

Dec 31, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs players after the Alumni Showdown as part of the Winter Classic at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

So for those of you that were holding your collective breaths to see the likes of Andreas Dackell, Magnus Arvedson, Steve Duchesne, Laurie Boschmann, and maybe even a Wade Redden return to a Senators uniform will be sadly disappointed.

It really is a shame, because the festival type atmosphere that sometimes includes junior and/or college games or minor league games will not happen.  The game will lack enough of an  “outdoors” feel because the retractable roof is 100m X 85m, not completely open air.  The lack of surrounding events due to the commitments to other events around the March 1st weekend might lead to a rather disappointing feel and could harm future versions of the Heritage Classic as it exists now.

That is relatively poor planning by the Canucks and the NHL, and also a failure to capitalize on revenue streams available from associated events. To spend all that money to get ice in for 1 game seems like a waste.