Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NHL Hoping for Outdoor Heritage Classic When Canucks Host Senators

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NHL Hoping for Outdoor Heritage Classic When Canucks Host Senators

Article excerpt

NHL hopes to have roof open for Heritage Classic


VANCOUVER - If all goes according to plan, the roof will be open at B.C. Place Stadium in March when the Vancouver Canucks host the Ottawa Senators in the Heritage Classic.

"If worse comes to worse and it needs to be a covered facility, it'll be a covered facility," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday. "We hope that's not the case."

Given B.C. Place's 59,841 seating capacity, Daly said he expects some tickets to be priced lower than usual Canucks games at Rogers Arena, but added that some will also be more expensive.

Meanwhile, Daly said the NHL is working with the players' association and International Ice Hockey Federation to see what can be done to reduce insurance cost for Olympic teams' summer orientation camps. Currently, the high cost of insurance is restricting Canadian and U.S. players to off-ice workouts.

Daly spoke to reporters before Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis and new head coach John Tortorella faced questions from fans at the NHL club's annual summer summit.

Among the other topics discussed, Daly said the NHL will give strong consideration to the Pacific Northwest in the event of expansion or relocation, but declined to address Seattle specifically.

The city was considered a strong candidate for a potential move of the Phoenix Coyotes, who have resolved their arena-lease issues and are expected to stay in Arizona once the sale of the club is complete.

The league could look into possible expansion or other business growth after the sale closes.

"I think there's a willingness to consider (expansion)," said Daly, who also added he expects the size of goaltenders' equipment to be reduced this season.

Meanwhile, Gillis and Tortorella discussed the Canucks' plans with fans heading into the 2013-14 season.

The club has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons and has just one post-season victory since losing Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.

The lack of playoff success cost Alain Vigneault, the franchise's all-time winningest coach, his job in May after the Canucks were swept by the San Jose Sharks. …

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