In under three months' time, the Stanley Cup and some NHL legends will arrive in Yellowknife for a four-day celebration of hockey, culminating in a major live broadcast on Sportsnet and CBC.
While we all know one big-name hockey broadcaster probably won't be attending, Cabin Radio will keep this page updated as details come out about the events that will happen as part of Hockey Day in Canada – which runs from February 5-8, 2020, in Yellowknife.
"It's almost a bit of a misnomer. It's not just one day," said Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife, as she introduced the first details about Hockey Day earlier in November.
Alty said a night celebrating "the music of Hockey Day" and a banquet will be two of the main attractions. More information is expected to be revealed at a news conference in early December.
"We're looking at showcasing traditional sports and there'll be an arts and culture component, with a market," Alty continued.
"There will be lots of opportunities to show more than just hockey, but there will also be hockey clinics and the Stanley Cup will be toured to schools and Avens."
Lanny McDonald – who played more than a thousand NHL games in the 1970 and 1980s, mostly for the Maple Leafs and Flames – is a confirmed attendee, as is longtime Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker, who retired from the sport in 2010.
McDonald, becoming a frequent visitor to Yellowknife, was in the city as recently as September when he supported the Champions for Children fundraising event. "It would be great if he just set up shop downtown here," Alty joked.
Sportsnet, which held its most recent round of preparatory meetings in Yellowknife last week, will shortly begin filming in the city to produce segments of the flagship Saturday live show, which Ron MacLean is expected to anchor from Somba K'e Park.
The half-day live show – which involves all seven Canadian NHL teams in action – is one of the biggest opportunities in Yellowknife's recent history for the city to advertise itself to the rest of the country. A pond hockey tournament will take place throughout the day.
"We'll be working to ensure that everyone who comes as part of Hockey Day in Canada has a great time and goes back and tells all their relatives," said Alty.
On Friday, the city's Challenge Cup hockey games – contested between male and female teams of two Yellowknife high schools, Sir John Franklin and St Pat's – will take place at the Multiplex ahead of an NHL alumni game featuring some local Yellowknifers.
Cabin Radio will broadcast live video from some of Hockey Day in Canada's biggest events. Stand by for more details in the coming weeks.
NHL games featured in the Saturday broadcast are:
- 12pm: Winnipeg Jets vs Ottawa Senators
- 5pm: Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadiens (CBC)
- 5pm: San Jose Sharks vs Edmonton Oilers (Sportsnet)
- 8pm: Vancouver Canucks vs Calgary Flames