The Vancouver Canucks kicked off their countdown to the 2013 Heritage Classic with a ceremony and presentation at BC Place on Thursday afternoon.
Tickets also went on sale on Thursday morning, at 10 a.m. PST, for the Canucks’ (or, is it the Millionaires?) first-ever NHL outdoor game against the Ottawa Senators. The stadium will hold 55,000 people.
The game, presented by Tim Hortons, goes at BC Place on March 2, 2014.
On Thursday, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, and Kevin Bieksa took to the “ice” in the middle of the home of the BC Lions. Rather, they took to the mound where the ice will be.
“This is, it felt different,” Daniel told reporters on Thursday, after walking into BC Place. “I don’t know if it’s because it’s so cold outside, but it’s going to be a special feeling.
“Looking up here, it will be hopefully sold out, but it’s going to be a lot of people watching.”
The Canucks have played the Senators once this season, already beating them in Ottawa 5-2 last Thursday.
“I think there was a bit of a rivalry created the first game that we played against them, it was heated,” said Kesler. “I’m hoping the same kind of atmosphere comes into this building.”
Also last week, Vancouver (and Ottawa) unveiled their jerseys for the Heritage Classic, and the Canucks will wear the same maroon and striped white Millionaires jerseys they wore as an alternate last season.
“I’ve watched every outdoor game,” said Daniel Sedin on Thursday. “I think it’s exciting as a player. I’m sure for the fans, too, it’s a different kind of game and brings back a lot of good memories.”
The game will be the first outdoor classic between Ottawa and Vancouver, and follows previous Heritage Classics between Montreal and Calgary and Montreal and Edmonton.
“I’ve watched all the outdoor games obviously,” said Kesler on Thursday. “They looked extremely fun to play and hopefully this is good weather and hopefully the roof’s open and we can turn it into an outdoor game.”
Both Vancouver and Ottawa are fighting for playoff spots in their respective conferences, and the Canucks are currently on the outside looking in on what is already a razor-tight eight-team Western Conference postseason race.
The Heritage Classic is a spectacle but, of course, it’s also a game and two very important points will be up for grabs.
“I think, we’re professionals, we’re here to get a win and get the two points,” said Kesler. “At the same time, we’re human and we’re going to enjoy it. No doubt about it.
The Classic will also be a tribute to the 1915 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Millionaires sweep the Senators in three straight games.
“It’s two Canadian teams,” said Daniel. “I’m sure that’s going to bring a lot of intensity.”
As a part of Thursday’s festivities, the Vancouver Canucks and the NHL showed off a sneak peek from the league’s soon-to-be-aired TV series called NHL Revealed:
PHOTOS: The Vancouver Canucks officially unveil BC Place for the 2014 Heritage Classic…