Canada

2 NHL teams to face off in Sydney, N.S., this fall after Kraft Hockeyville win

Two NHL teams will face off on the ice at Centre 200 in Sydney, N.S., this fall, thanks to the community’s Kraft Hockeyville win last year.

The Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators will play a preseason game on Oct. 1 to celebrate Sydney’s win in the annual competition.

“Our organization is thrilled to visit Nova Scotia this fall to bring an exciting preseason matchup to the passionate fans in the Sydney community,” Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a news release Wednesday.

“The Kraft Hockeyville program does a great deal of good for the growth of our game across North America and we are honoured and excited to participate and get the chance to spend some time with the avid hockey fans at Centre 200.”

Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said players are excited to take on the Panthers in Sydney.

“Hockey fans on the East Coast love the game and their hospitality is second to none.”

A fence surrounds the outer doors of an arena.
The Canada Games Complex at Cape Breton University is undergoing renovations, thanks to funding from the province and Kraft Hockeyville. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

Kraft Hockeyville allows communities to nominate their arena for a chance to win $250,000 in upgrades and an opportunity to host a preseason NHL game.

Sydney won the competition in 2022, and the prize money will go toward the Canada Games Complex.

The facility was built at Cape Breton University to host the 1987 Canada Winter Games, but was later decommissioned as a cost-saving measure. The Kraft Hockeyville win means a new compressor can be purchased so the venue can reopen for ice time.

In addition to the funding from Kraft Hockeyville, the rink at the Canada Games Complex has also received $8.15 million from the province.

Game will inspire young players

The Cape Breton Blizzard Female Hockey Association partnered with the Cape Breton University Capers women’s hockey team on the Hockeyville contest bid.

The Blizzard has about 300 players and has struggled to find ice time, forcing teams to travel to nearby communities to practise and compete.

Once renovations are complete, the rink at the Canada Games Complex will become home ice for the organizations.

A woman smiles as she stands on the ice in a an arena
Christina Lamey is president of the Cape Breton Blizzard Female Hockey Association. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

Christina Lamey is the president of Blizzard Female Hockey, and says the NHL game will benefit young players.

“We’re looking forward to taking this opportunity to showcase the growth and development of girls hockey in the region. It’s been going so well and so great and we’re just encouraging more and more girls to get involved in the sport and hopefully seeing this kind of activity inspires them.”

Lamey said information about ticket sales will be released later in the summer.

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