Monday, August 24, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: No "Big O" for the Habs

Back in June, we first heard about a potential indoor/outdoor game involving the Montreal Canadiens at Olympic Stadium, a sort of consolation prize for Canada not getting a Winter Classic this season.

To be honest, I didn't see this potential game as anything but a big cash grab for the Habs and I thought it was a bit silly for Montreal's 100th birthday celebration to continue into another season. With that said, I'm not at all upset about this bit of news I'm about to share with you - I'm just a bit confused.

Turns out the game between the Canadiens and the Washington Capitals isn't happening after all - but it's the reason behind it that's got me in a blogging type of mood.

According to Slam! Sports, the game at the "Big O" was called off, because of "the possibility that the Montreal Alouettes would be hosting the Canadian Football League Eastern Final on Nov. 22," which leaves them just a week to prep the facility for hockey.

Here's what confuses me about this: they didn't think about that until now?

In 1996, the CFL decided to go back to its all-Canadian team format and the Grey Cup champion Baltimore Stallions became the Montreal Alouettes.

In the thirteen years since the switch, Alouettes fans have watched their club make the playoffs every year, winning seven East Division regular season championships and one Grey Cup in six appearances in the big game. This year, the East-leading Als are 7-1 through eight weeks and looking strong.

Montreal has made the East Final in eleven of the past thirteen years and it took the organizers of the potential indoor/outdoor game this long to figure out there could be a scheduling conflict?

Forgetting that oversight, I strongly doubt that it would take more than a week to transform a stadium from football mode to hockey mode.

If the crew over at Rexall Place can go from the Canadian Finals Rodeo to an Oilers game in four days, I'm pretty sure six days is doable over in Montreal. Sure, it's a bit different, but a Montreal spokesman says they would need seven days to make it happen.

Oh well! Had they thought of this problem before the schedule for this season came out, I'm sure this would have been an easy fix. That'll teach 'em though!

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