Professional hockey is coming to the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.
On Feb. 8, 2014, the Bay Arena will play host to a group of National Hockey League veterans in a game with the local hockey fan in mind.
Bay Roberts recreation director Ian Flynn said the opportunity for the event came after the group, NHL Legends All-Stars, who put off these games approached the town.
“It moved very fast,” he said. “We really jumped at it.”
It is not the first time the NHL legends have tried to play a game in Bay Roberts.
The two parties had tried to arrange to come to the community in the past, but the timing did not work.
“We haven’t been to Bay Roberts,” said NHL Legends All-Stars organizer Steve Walton.
The group has been coming to Newfoundland and Labrador for the past four years, and played 17 similar games in 2013. These games have included the legends of the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins coming to nearby Harbour Grace in the past.
During this trip, Bay Roberts is one of four games being played in the province.
“Bay Roberts was one of the communities we haven’t been too yet,” said Walton. “We finally got it done this time around.”
A who’s who
While Flynn and Legends of Hockey are still sorting out the final roster of legends for the high profile game, there have been some names confirmed.
The lineup right now is set to feature multiple Stanley Cup champions and a penalty minutes leader.
The following is a list of legends set for the game so far:
• Theoren Fleury;
• Mike Krushelnyski;
• Andre Dupont;
• Ken Linseman; and
• Chris Nilan.
Fleury might be the most prominent name on the marque so far. The 45-year-old captured a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989, played 15 years in the professional ranks and accumulated 1,088 career points.
Fleury captured a gold medal with the Canadian Olympic Men’s Team in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics.
Krushelnyski won three Stanley Cups with the high powered Edmonton Oilers in the mid-1980s, while Dupont was a member of the notorious Broad Street Bullies, capturing two championships with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974 and 1975. Linseman was a member of the Oilers in 1983, where the team won a championship.
Nilan has a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens and sits ninth in career penalty minutes.
"We couldn’t have picked a better lineup,” said Walton.
Members of the community will have the opportunity to play with or against the legends team, but information regarding that is not known at this time.
Word first broke about the event over social media last week.
Since then, there has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the news.
“There has been a fantastic response,” said Flynn.
The recreation director said he has fielded calls from hockey fans from St. John to Grand Falls-Windsor.
The town has plans on making the event a community-oriented event with face painters and balloon twisters, as well as various other groups involved.
“We’re excited for it,” said Flynn.
Tickets for the event go on sale tomorrow (Dec. 11) at the town hall in Bay Roberts at a cost of $25. They must be picked up in person.