Do It For The Kids: Maple Leafs Celebrating 100th Anniversary With Weekday Matinee
The Maple Leafs will commemorate their 100th anniversary with an afternoon game on Tuesday, Dec. 19, and the team is "hoping to pack the Air Canada Centre with as many kids as possible" for the game against the Hurricanes, according to Kevin McGran of the TORONTO STAR. Toronto Mayor John Tory has deemed Dec. 19 as Toronto Maple Leafs Day. Season-ticket holders are being asked to "bring a child with them that game, or to donate the ticket back to the MLSE Foundation, which will give it to a school-aged fan." Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan said, "Our birthday comes on a Tuesday. It is a school night. So the decision was made to do it at two in the afternoon, get kids in the city incentivized a little bit to get the afternoon off school and come watch a hockey game and make the arena a very youthful place with our next generation of hockey fans.” McGran notes the cost of Maple Leafs tickets are "generally out of the range of many families," meaning it can be "difficult for a team, even one as popular as the Leafs, to connect with new fans" (TORONTO STAR, 9/13). In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger notes the game will be played "exactly 100 years to the day that the Toronto Arenas took to the ice for the first game in franchise history," and the Maple Leafs will wear special throwback uniforms to "mark the occasion." Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan said the wearing of the Arenas jersey will be "a one-time thing." However, he does "hope that the team will receive permission from the league to don Toronto St. Pats jerseys each St. Patrick's Day in future seasons to come" (TORONTO SUN, 9/13).