SUN Hockey Pool

Flames schedule includes Heritage Classic

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:01 PM ET

February’s Heritage Classic is the centrepiece of the Calgary Flames schedule next season.

Hosting the Montreal Canadiens at McMahon Stadium Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. — an event that got final approval from the league Tuesday night — the Flames have a marketing and sales goldmine on their hands. The Flames will make an announcement regarding the event next week.

But there are other big dates on the 2010-11 NHL

calendar, too.

None bigger after the Classic, arguably, than the return of Dion Phaneuf. You can bet the newest Toronto Maple Leafs captain has already circled Dec. 16 on his calendar. That’s when the former Flames defenceman makes his first appearance at the Saddledome in a Leafs uniform following his mid-season trade last year.

Kicking off what they hope will be a season that sees them return to the playoffs is an early Battle of Alberta. The Flames travel north Oct. 7 to open their season against the Edmonton Oilers.

The home opener sees the Flames host the L.A. Kings Oct. 10. They follow up with home dates against the Florida Panthers Oct. 14 and an early rematch with the Oilers Oct. 16.

There won’t be any Sidney sightings at the Dome this year since the Flames visit Crosby’s Penguins — and their new digs — in Pittsburgh Nov. 27, but Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals come to Calgary Oct. 30.

As for Canadian content, Hockey Day in Canada Feb. 12 sees the Flames in Vancouver to face the Canucks in the late-night tilt. Also that day, the Oilers will host the Ottawa Senators and the Leafs play the host Montreal Canadiens.

The New Year’s Eve clash at the Dome features a new opponent this season. Replacing the Oilers are the young and talented Colorado Avalanche, who will help the Flames ring in the new year.

Both the Flames and their fans will hope it’s a good one.

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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