NHL Classic outdoor game to bring more than just hockey

The NHL will mark the 100th anniversary of the league's first game with an outdoor hockey contest here in Ottawa.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman noted it was December 19th, 1917, that the first NHL game was played here in Ottawa between the Senators and the Montreal Canadiens.

To mark the event, the league will hold its 100 Classic Outdoor Game on Saturday, December 16th at Lansdowne Park.

Mayor Jim Watson called the contest a fitting conclusion to Canada's 150th birthday celebrations in the city.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said he's excited by the news because it pays tribute to Ottawa as the capital of a hockey nation.

But he added there will be more than the game itself.

"There's going to be other activities all around it - the NHL does a five-star job when it comes to entertainment," Melnyk told CFRA.

"I'm expecting a first-class act," he said.

Ticket sales are still a few weeks away, however.

Melnyk said the NHL still has to work out a seating plan for Lansdowne Park.

By the way, the Canadiens won that contest a century ago, by a score of 7 - 4.