The Ottawa Senators haven't given up in their pursuit of having at least a portion of the outdoor game weekend staged on Parliament Hill.
While the club was told it was not feasible to stage the December 16 game against the Montreal Canadiens on a temporary ice surface on the front lawn of The Hill, sources have told TSN Radio 1200 that the club is now trying to stage an alumni game at that location.
The Senators originally wanted to host the entire weekend on Parliament Hill, as club officials argued it would provide an iconic backdrop with breathtaking scenery for an outdoor NHL game. However, the idea was officially nixed last November when the federal government cited logistical and security concerns as the main obstacles to hosting the game there.
The Senators relented and were forced to use TD Place as a venue for the game – making it painfully clear it was their second choice.
The Senators now hope to convince government officials to allow a smaller-sized event to take place at Parliament Hill at some point before the outdoor game at TD Place. There are still hurdles to clear with trying to place an ice surface on the front lawn of Parliament Hill, but the hockey club is hoping an event with a smaller seating capacity would bring along fewer logistical and security concerns for government officials.
Since the Senators are trying to make this a small and intimate affair, one idea being floated out is that the Montreal Canadiens alumni would not be included in the event.
With every outdoor NHL game, there's traditionally an alumni contest featuring 'old-timers' from both teams. This time around, the Senators may opt to stage their own 3-on-3 tournament made up exclusively of former Ottawa players.
Another idea under consideration would see a team of Senators alumni taking on members of either the Canadian or U.S. military. With less than three months until the outdoor game in Ottawa, it’s believed this plan will need to take shape in the coming weeks if they hope to make it a reality.
If this idea does not come to fruition, it's not known whether the Senators would pursue a full alumni game against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Place.