While the focus of every NHL outdoor game tends to be the main event, perhaps the most underrated festivities involved are the alumni games. Your favourite players from your childhood team suit up for a game that’s taken not too seriously but still involves some competition, giving your memory a glimpse back at the good times you had as a fan in the past while reminding you that this game is one of fun before it is one of frustration.
With that in mind, fans of both the Detroit Red Wings and host Toronto Maple Leafs have been eagerly awaiting this year’s alumni rosters, and at first glance, they look like a ton of fun.
Detroit Red Wings
Playing up front for the Red Wings will be Doug Brown, Dion Ciccarelli, Kris Draper, Sergei Fedorov, Tomas Holmstrom, Joe Kocur, Slava Kozlov, Martin Lapointe, Igor Larionov, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Mickey Redmond, and Brendan Shanahan.
On defence, we’ll see Chris Chelios, Paul Coffey, Mathieu Dandenault, Jiri Fischer, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Larry Murphy. In goal, Kevin Hodson and Manny Legace will make their best efforts to keep the opposing pucks away from the mesh.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto’s forwards will include Dave Andreychuk, Wendel Clark, Tie Domi, Doug Gilmour, Gary Leeman, Lanny McDonald, Gary Roberts, Darryl Sitler, Mats Sundin, Steve Thomas, Darcy Tucker, Rick Vaive, and Tiger Williams.
On the point, they’ll have Dave Ellett, Al Iafrate, Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe, Bob McGill, Borje Salming, and Dmitri Yushkevich. Their net protectors will be Curtis Joseph, Mike Palmateer, and Felix Potvin.
It’s an interesting mix of more recent and long-past generations, and the fact that both sides have players that have played for both teams makes it all the more fun. Will Leafs fans be more willing to pretend Larry Murphy never happened, or will Red Wings fans act as if they’ve never seen Curtis Joseph before? Will those in Detroit act as if Borje Salming was a true Red Wing, or will Leafs fans be wondering why Brendan Shanahan is trying to score on the team that he’s actively the President of?
Whatever the case, it should be a lot of fun. The two sides will face off at BMO Field on December 31st.