The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2017, and are looking to play host to all the major NHL events to mark the occasion.
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, recently told Sportsnet the Maple Leafs are hoping to bring the NHL All-Star Game, the NHL Draft, the Winter Classic, and maybe even the World Cup of Hockey to Toronto as part of the anniversary festivities.
“It’s not a splash. I just think Toronto—it’s our 100th anniversary, and this is the greatest hockey city on Earth. I think we owe it to our fans. And we’re telling the league that they owe it to our fans,” Leiweke said. “They don’t disagree, but we’ve got to go through a process to win it. I think we’ll win it. I think we’ll get there. But we got to go bid on it.”
The Montreal Canadiens celebrated their centennial by hosting both the 2009 All-Star Game and Draft at the Bell Centre, so there's precedent when it comes to pairing up those events.
As for the Winter Classic, the Maple Leafs would need to show the League that Toronto has an adequate outdoor venue for such an event.
No official announcement on the return of the World Cup has been made at this time, but Toronto is believed to be the front runner to host in 2016.
There's also no word yet on whether the Maple Leafs will be a hosting a playoff game leading up to or during their 100th season.
Toronto will, however, play host to the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
Feature photo courtesy of Mark Blinch / REUTERS