12/30/2008 11:09 AM
Article By:From chicagoblackhawks.com: (link)
The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that it will honor seven Chicago sports legends during a special on-field ceremony prior to the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field. The salute to the sports legends, all of them Hall of Famers in their respective sports, will open the outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio, XM Radio).
The Hall of Fame legends scheduled to appear include former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, former Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, former Cubs outfielder Billy Williams and Blackhawks greats Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard.
Following the Salute to Chicago Sports Legends ceremony, long-time Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison will perform the U.S. national anthem. Singer and Canadian Army reservist Scotty Newlands will perform the Canadian anthem. During performances of both anthems, two Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet jets, flown by naval pilots from the VFA-122 "Flying Eagles"
Holiday video messages from Illinois soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan will be played on video boards throughout the game. The Armed Forces Network will carry the NBC broadcast of the game via tape delay to military bases around the world.
During the intermissions, Illinois-based marching bands will entertain the fans in attendance. The Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band will perform a tribute to Chicago “Rock & Blues.” The Northern Illinois University “Huskie” Marching Band will take the field during the second intermission to perform a medley of lively music, with a tip of the hat to Detroit soul singer Wilson Pickett.
Throughout the game, “The Hockey Show” hosts Carrie Milbank, Steven Lee and Heidi Androl will distribute more than 200 items from NHL sponsors, including Bridgestone, Honda, Verizon Wireless, EA Sports and McDonald’s, to fans at Wrigley as part of the “NHL Winter Classic Live” entertainment program.
Reebok will offer fans another chance to win great prizes with the “Reebok Lost Logo Challenge,” a unique contest for both U.S. television viewers and in-stadium attendees that challenges fans to find the NHL player who is missing the Reebok logo from his jersey. Reebok will give each of the more than 40,000 fans who attend the game at Wrigley Field a pair of binoculars to find the NHL player on the ice without a Reebok logo.
For the second straight year, the NHL will pay homage to its roots with a 56’ x 60’ pond hockey rink in the outfield. Former Blackhawks forward and NHL Diversity ambassador Tony McKegney will lead 24 youth hockey players from the NHL Diversity affiliates of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois and Evanston Youth Hockey Association in pond hockey drills throughout the game. The youngsters also will participate in the pre-game ceremony.
The Chicago Blackhawks will play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in the Bridgestone NHL Winter ClassicTM 2009 on New Year’s Day. The game will be the 701st all-time meeting of the clubs – no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against each other.