Maple Leafs Want To Host All NHL Major Events To Celebrate Team's Centennial In '17
The Maple Leafs are "looking to host" the NHL All-Star Game, the NHL Draft, the Winter Classic, and the World Cup of Hockey "leading up to or during the club’s 100th anniversary" in '17, according to Luke Fox of SPORTSNET. MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke said, "We owe it to our fans. And we’re telling the league that they owe it to our fans. They don’t disagree, but we’ve got to go through a process to win it. I think we’ll win it. I think we’ll get there. But we got to go bid on it." He added that hosting the '17 Winter Classic is "still dependent on the expansion of BMO Field." Leiweke: "Once we get BMO under construction and they see we can do 40,000 seats, then we’ll have a serious conversation." Fox noted the '16-17 season "doesn’t just represent the 100th anniversary of Toronto’s NHL team; it’s also the centennial of the entire league." The Canadiens in '09 celebrated their centennial by hosting both the All-Star Game and the Draft at Bell Centre. Leiweke: "Montreal got it all in a short period of time for their 100th anniversary, and that’s not lost on [NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman] and what he wants to do to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the league. That said, we still have to bid on it, and we still have to win it" (SPORTSNET.ca, 7/14).