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Report: Senators planning outdoor game in 2017 for NHL anniversary

By Brian Stubits | Hockey writer

The Ottawa Senators are reportedly busy planning an outdoor game to be played in Canada's capital. When, you might ask? Not until 2017.

Well, it should be a pretty safe bet that by then we'll have hockey back. So, you know, it's good to be prepared.

Of course there is a reason why the year 2017 is targeted. That will mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL, so what better way to commemorate it in Canada than outdoors? Remember, the original Senators were one of the NHL's founding franchises even though they aren't an Original Six team, so it does fit in that regard.

And, as Mark Brownlee of the Ottawa Business Journal reports, the plan is to face another of the founding franchises.

The idea is to have the Senators face off against the Montreal Canadiens, according to Ottawa Marriott general manager Daniel Laliberté, a member of the committee helping plan the city's offerings for 2017.

That would replicate the first game played 100 years earlier in December 1917 under the banner of a brand new organization formed a month earlier -- the National Hockey League.

So in five years it might technically be the 100th anniversary of the NHL but we know too well it won't be the 100th season. Thanks, stupid lockouts.

It should be a pretty cool scene as with any of the outdoor games. The setting would be Lansdowne Park, presumably at Frank Clair Stadium, home of the past and now future CFL Ottawa franchise.

Some think the outdoor game is already past its prime and we're talking about this one that will have four to five more years worth of games to dilute the novelty even further. That's absolutely a fair point, but at the same time this game will have a bit more historic flair to it beyond just playing outside because they can.

It's hard right now to look forward to any games at all as the lockout continues to drag on, so 2017 feels like it's an eternity away. But it will be interesting to see how this unfolds. I can't imagine the NHL would have too many objections. Ottawa seems like it would make an excellent place for a trip outdoors, something the mayor has long campaigned for, so this might be their best shot.

H/t to PHT

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @StubitsCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
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