By Dave Flaherty and Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Oshawa Generals fans could be seeing a few familiar faces return to the ice at the Tribute Communities Centre next fall as the rink gets set to the host the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders in preseason action.
Announced on Dec. 5, the two National Hockey League clubs will converge in Oshawa on Sept. 28, for a preseason exhibition game hosted by the City of Oshawa, the Oshawa Generals and On Ice Entertainment.
“We are delighted to be bringing an NHL exhibition game to the City of Oshawa, which has a fantastic hockey history and we welcome the chance to be included,” said John Graham, president of On Ice Entertainment.
Graham commended city officials for taking the initative to make the upgrades to the Tribute Communities Centre required to host a NHL game.
“The City of Oshawa does deserve a lot of credit,” Graham says.
Mayor John Henry said this could be a rare opportunity for many local residents.
“When I was a young man and I had a great dream of playing hockey, I had the chance to go to the Civic Auditorium to see the Buffalo Sabres play the California Golden Seals,” Henry said. “Seeing an NHL game and our heroes of today is so amazing, but especially in this building, where the Oshawa Generals have graduated more players to the NHL than any other franchise.”
A number of notable players who once donned the Generals jersey are now part of the Islanders organization, including Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin de Haan, Mitch Vande Sompel, Michael Dal Colle, and most notable, the club’s current captain John Tavares.
Oshawa Generals president Rocco Tullio says he is proud NHLers will play on his team’s home ice.
“On behalf of the Oshawa Generals we are very happy to be partnering with two great National Hockey League organizations and the Tribute Communities Centre to host this preseason match up,” Tullio remarked. “Having an NHL game here in Oshawa will allow fans to experience another level of hockey, which I know they will support as openly as they do the Oshawa Generals.”
Tickets are set to go on sale Dec. 11 and are available by phone, online and at the TCC box office with seats ranging from $85 to $110.
“The New York Islanders are excited to host a game in Oshawa, Ontario, one of Canada’s true hockey communities,” New York Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said. “The Oshawa community is one of the most passionate markets in hockey, so we can’t wait to have our players take the ice in from of them.”