The National Hockey League announced on Thursday the contestants for the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic. The Buffalo Sabres will face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario on March 13. The match between the Sabres and Maple Leafs will mark the sixth Heritage Classic since 2003, the 35th outdoor game in NHL history and the third scheduled such game of the 2021-22 season.
In addition to the Heritage Classic, the St. Louis Blues will play the Minnesota Wild in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and the Tampa Bay Lightning will play the Nashville Predators in the NHL Stadium Series on Feb. 26.
This will be the first Heritage Classic since 2019, which ended in a 2-1 overtime victory for the Winnipeg Jets over the Calgary Flames. The Sabres competing in this edition of the game will mark the first time a team based in the United States will play in the Heritage Classic.
"We are excited to announce that we will be presenting another Tim Hortons Heritage Classic this season," read a statement by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "When the Toronto Maple Leafs meet the Buffalo Sabres at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, we again will honor Canada's preeminent role in the history of our game while renewing a great and longstanding NHL rivalry.
"In addition, by inviting the first U.S.-based team to a Heritage Classic, we will celebrate the greater Golden Horseshoe region as the home of so many fans of both the Leafs and Sabres."
The selection of Tim Hortons Field as the host of the game is significant, as the field is one of the most notable in all of Canadian Football. Tim Hortons Field is home to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, as well as Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League.
The Maple Leafs have a very significant connection to the area, as Hall of Fame Maple Leafs defenseman and four-time Stanley Cup Champion Tim Horton was the co-founder of the Tim Hortons restaurant brand that bears his name.