Flames make a case for being the home team in Regina outdoor game against Jets

REGINA — The NHL’s outdoor game in Regina may be a home game for the Winnipeg Jets, but the Calgary Flames are staking a claim to it.

The NHL lauded all things Saskatchewan at Friday’s news conference launching its marketing campaign for the 2019 Heritage Classic on Oct. 26 at Mosaic Stadium.

A non-NHL or “neutral” city will be the host of the Heritage Classic for the first time.

The Jets will be the home team in the regular-season game, but the Flames emphasized the franchise’s Saskatchewan connections including ownership group chair Murray Edwards, who hails from Regina.

Late owners Daryl “Doc” Seaman was from Rouleau, just south of Regina, and John “Bud” McCaig was born in Moose Jaw.

President, chief operating officer and Saskatoon product John Bean pointed to the number of the province’s expats who live in Calgary and show up to CFL games there en masse wearing green and white.

“Notwithstanding we are the visiting team for this game, we are without hesitation considering the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, a home game for the Calgary Flames,” Bean declared to assembled media in Regina.

“In this age of political correctness, we loyal Saskatchewan transplants like to say when it comes to sports in Calgary, we are red on the outside and green on the inside.

“For one night only, we hope to have a sea of red in Regina. We all know we’re still green on the inside.”

The NHL also marked Saskatchewan as its territory extolling the 514 men from the province who have played in the league.

Seventeen are Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, including Gordie Howe, Sid Abel, Clark Gillies and Bryan Trottier.

“Here in Saskatchewan, a province with a relatively small population, there are a remarkable number of great NHLers that have gone before us,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

“True hockey greatness has been passed down from generation to generation here.”

Regina-born players currently in the NHL include Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Jordan Eberle of the New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk and Wild defenceman Mathew Dumba.

Daly projected the league’s 28th outdoor game and the fifth Heritage Classic will be seen by 1.5 million people.

Mosaic Stadium, owned by the city and operated by the Regina Exhibition Association, replaced 69-year-old Taylor Field as the home of the CFL’s Roughriders in 2017.

Regina is the host city of the 2020 Grey Cup after Calgary stages this year’s CFL’s championship game in November.

Winnipeg’s Investors Group Field was the site of the 2016 Heritage Classic, which the visiting Edmonton Oilers won 3-0 in front of 33,000.

“It was really in my view a tipping point for our organization,” True North Sports and Entertainment chair Mark Chipman said.

“It allowed us to re-connect to the history of the Winnipeg Jets for the first time and re-establish our alumni which is really strong and thriving now.

“It was a meaningful crossroads for us to be able to present the game in Winnipeg on the world stage and show the hockey world how vibrant hockey is in the prairies.”

Calgary held the 2011 Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium, where the Flames shut out the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 in front of 41,000.

Current captain Mark Giordano and centre Mikael Backlund played in that game.

Just Posted

Rural communities could face policing bills

Province considering getting smaller and rural communities to pick up a portion of policing costs

Random Acts of Green Canadian tour comes to Red Deer

Red Deerians are being encouraged to lessen their impact on the environment.… Continue reading

Free blood testing for HIV, Hep C, syphilis offered Thursday in Red Deer

Anyone can drop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bower Ponds pavilion

Red Deer economy bouncing back but slowly: report

While Red Deer’s economy has been in recovery mode for the past… Continue reading

Red Deer cyclist dead after being hit by vehicle

A Red Deer cyclist was killed when he was struck by a… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Couche-Tard wants to be a player in the sale of cannabis

LAVAL, Que. — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. wants to be one of the… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: A safe supply of water has long been a priority for Red Deer

The oldest part of the Red Deer water treatment plant on 54th… Continue reading

New parent charged in admissions scam, linked to $400K bribe

BOSTON — A woman accused of paying $400,000 to get her son… Continue reading

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re “stepping away” from ice dancing

Canadian ice dancing stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say they are… Continue reading

Bruce Cockburn avoids impulse to get political with lyric-less new album

TORONTO — If anyone is looking for activist folk singer Bruce Cockburn… Continue reading

13 seasons in, stars reflect on success of ‘Heartland,’ Canada’s ‘comfort food’

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — Alberta-born actor Shaun Johnston had already had a… Continue reading

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

Most Read