NHL le­gends com­ing to Bay Roberts

Event to fea­ture Theo Fleur, Chris Ni­lan and oth­ers

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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 to 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 at 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, when 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.

Great re­sponse

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 went on sale Dec. 11 at the town hall in Bay Roberts at a cost of $20. They must be picked up in per­son.

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