Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hockey Day Plans

If you're not busy on Saturday, January 18 and you're in the Lloydminster area, there's a better-than-good chance that you'll probably be at CBC's Hockey Day in Canada celebration. Having been to a Hockey Day in Canada, I can tell you that it is a whirlwind of excitement with all the celebrities and personalities in town, so I'm sure that Lloydminster will enjoy the entire event. But what is happening that day? What has been planned for the town and people of Lloydminster, and what will CBC viewers from other parts of the country see? Let's break down Hockey Day in Canada 2014!

The entire day will start on CBC at 12pm ET. If you live on the west coast, that's a 9am start for you! Needless to say, we're looking at about twelve hours of hockey programming, and I'm already anticipating a solid day in front of the high-definition television. Included in the live broadcast from Lloydminster will be four NHL games featuring all seven Canadian teams! January 18 will truly be a Canadian hockey day!

According to CBC, the theme of this year's Hockey Day in Canada is "Community" that, according to CBC, "will include features that examine the common bond Canadians share through hockey and the local rinks in which it is played as well as the role the game plays in bringing Canadian communities together from coast-to-coast-to-coast". In keeping with that community theme, there will be cut-aways to other communities in Canada including Prince George, British Columbia, Barry's Bay, Ontario, and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

If you tune into CBC from the start, the broadcast will begin from the Winter Festival in Lloydminster. Ron MacLean will be hosting the broadcast at an outdoor rink built specifically for Hockey Day on the Exhibition Grounds in Lloydminster. He'll be joined by long-time intermission partner Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, and several NHL alumni including Wendel Clark and Scotiabank Ambassadors Mark Napier, Lanny McDonald, Darcy Tucker and Marty McSorley. Again, there will be a number of famous faces in Lloydminster, so get your autograph books ready.

Throughout the broadcast, the CBC panelists of Elliotte Friedman, PJ Stock, and Kevin Weekes will be checking in from their Vancouver site as they prepare for the NHL hockey action later in the day. One of the cooler things that CBC is doing is having Canadian sledge hockey player Greg Westlake and national team coach Mike Mondin on the broadcast where they will announce the roster for the Canadian national team that will play at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games! The sledge hockey guys are one of Canada's most successful ice hockey teams, so it's great to see them featured on this broadcast!

The NHL action actually starts at 2pm ET, or 11am PT, as the Ottawa Senators play host to the New York Rangers for CBC viewers in Ontario and east. Viewers in Manitoba and west will get an all-Canadian clash as the Winnipeg Jets welcome the Edmonton Oilers to MTS Centre. There will be features from Lloydminster during the games, and CBC will return to Lloydminster after the games conclude.

Ron MacLean and the CBC crew will have moved indoors to the Lloydminster Centennial Civic Centre by then as Ron sets up the Junior-A game between the Lloydminster Bobcats and the Sherwood Park Crusaders! If you're looking for a little info on these teams in the AJHL, the Bobcats are currently in third-place in the North Division with a 16-13-3 record and 35 points. Sherwood Park is in seventh-place in the North Division with a 13-17-1 record for 27 points. There's a tight race for that third-place spot that Lloydminster currently holds, so this game could be a good one if these teams remain close!

From there, Hockey Tonight will lead into the national doubleheader as the Montreal Canadiens visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7pm ET/4pm PT which will be followed by the Calgary Flames visiting the Vancouver Canucks at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey will handle the AfterHours portion of the post-game wrap-up, and that will do it for another Hockey Day in Canada.

But that's not all!

On Tuesday, January 14, hockey fans in Regina can visit their CBC building for a chance to see the Stanley Cup and get their photos taken with the Silver Chalice. On Wednesday, the Stanley Cup travels to Churchill Square in Edmonton where photos with the trophy can be taken alongside CBC Edmonton personalities. Thursday will see the Stanley Cup in Camrose, Alberta for photo opportunities for fans in that community, and fans in Vermillion, Alberta will get the honour of seeing the Stanley Cup in their neighbourhood on Friday.

Activities in Lloydminster leading into Saturday's Hockey Day in Canada will see "on-ice clinics for youth hockey players and visits to local schools with NHL alumni Bryan Trottier, Clark, McDonald, McSorley, Napier and Tucker as well as members of CBC's Hockey Night In Canada broadcast team including Kelly Hrudey, Dick Irvin, Andi Petrillo and Craig Simpson in addition to Campbell-Pascall and Stock".

Thursday, January 16 will see a celebrity breakfast held in Lloydminster. That evening, a epcial concert, the Scotiabank Stolen From a Hockey Card concert, will see Dave Bidini perform live along with several special guest performers including Tami Holtby (mother of Washington Capitals goalie and Lloydminster native Braden Holtby), Bryan Trottier and the winner of Hockey Night in Canada Song Quest.

The annual Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada Banquet will be held on Friday, January 17 and includes a live charity auction featuring a pile of great hockey memorabilia and items. Outside of the Junior-A game on Saturday, there will also be a pile of on-ice activities available on Saturday as well. Four minor hockey teams will be coached by NHL alumni as they play, and the day will start with a pancake breakfast, followed by a peewee girls "Outdoor Classic" hockey game, and an outdoor NHL Alumni hockey game will take place as well. At some point, Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe, Oilers President and COO Patrick LaForge, and the Edmonton Octane cheerleading team will also be on-hand for the festivities.

Finally, CBC News Network's Ian Hanomansing and Carly Agro will also make the trip to Lloydminster, and will file reports and broadcast the news from Lloydminster all day on that channel. Hanomansing will also feature a report about Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on the Friday edition of The National as the CBC goes all-in for Hockey Day in Canada.

Whew! What a day and/or week! The reason I am posting this today is so that you, as a devoted hockey fan, can clear your schedule that day for the busiest day for hockey on Canada's public broadcaster. It should be an absolute beauty!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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