2016 Heritage Classic
The 2016 Heritage Classic (known as the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic for sponsorship reasons) was a regular season outdoor National Hockey League (NHL) game that was held on October 23, 2016. The game featured the Winnipeg Jets hosting the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, home of the CFL's Blue Bombers. The Oilers defeated the Jets, 3-0. This was the fourth NHL Heritage Classic game, and the first of four outdoor regular season games during the 2016-17 NHL season. Unusual for the NHL outdoor games, the 2016 Heritage Classic was held in mid-autumn, during the first month of the regular season, to avoid Winnipeg's harsher winter temperatures.
|Date||October 23, 2016|
|Arena||Investors Group Field|
The Jets originally announced in 2013 that they had reached an agreement with the NHL to host the game, to celebrate five years since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, returning the NHL to Manitoba after a fifteen-year absence. The team had originally wanted to host the game in 2015–16, its actual fifth season. However, a disagreement occurred between the NHL and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers over the game's exact date: the league wanted it held in December 2015 while the football team became concerned that this date was too close to the 103rd Grey Cup being held at the stadium on November 29. In January 2015, the Jets announced that they could not reach an agreement to finalize a date for the Heritage Classic during the 2015-16 season. On March 6, 2016, the NHL officially announced that the Jets would host the Oilers in the 2016 Heritage Classic during the 2016–17 NHL season; the Blue Bombers would be on a bye week that week and would play their second last home game before the Heritage Classic on October 8. This gave the NHL nearly two weeks to prepare the stadium for the game.
|October 23, 2016||Edmonton Oilers||3–0||Winnipeg Jets||Investors Group Field||Recap|
Due to concern over the glare of sunlight expressed by the players, the game was delayed two hours from the original start time of 2:00 p.m. The temperature at opening face-off was 10.1 °C (50.2 °F), which was above seasonal for late October weather in Winnipeg. The Oilers basically controlled the entire game, with three different players scoring goals in the second period, while goalie Cam Talbot made 31 saves in the shutout.
|2nd||EDM||Mark Letestu (2) – sh||Unassisted||09:24||1–0 EDM|
|EDM||Darnell Nurse (1)||Connor McDavid (5) and Zack Kassian (2)||11:10||2–0 EDM|
|EDM||Zack Kassian (2)||Benoit Pouliot (1) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2)||17:16||3–0 EDM|
- Number in parenthesis represents the player's total in goals or assists to that point of the season
|Three star selections|
|2nd||EDM||Mark Letestu||1 Shorthanded goal|
|3rd||EDM||Darnell Nurse||1 Goal|
The Alumni Game preceding the Heritage Classic game featured players from the previous Winnipeg Jets, making it the first time that the current Jets franchise has recognized the original Jets as part of its history other than in name.
Jennifer Hanson, who sang the Canadian National Anthem before Winnipeg Jets games in the 1990s, returned to Winnipeg to sing O Canada prior to the alumni game.
The Jets alumni team was captained by former star and captain Dale Hawerchuk and included Teemu Selanne, while the Oilers alumni team included many members of its 1980s Stanley Cup-winning teams, including captain Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Esa Tikannen.
Willy Lindstrom was traded from the Oilers alumni to the Jets alumni prior to the start of the third period in exchange for a first-round selection in the next alumni game. (Lindstrom had previously played for both the Winnipeg Jets and the Oilers during his playing career.) Winnipeg won the Alumni Game 6-5, the winning goal coming from Selanne on a penalty shot with 3.6 seconds left after being tripped by Oiler and Hockey Night in Canada analyst Craig Simpson.
- "Heritage Classic set for Oct. 23". Winnipeg Sun. Postmedia Network. March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- Lawless, Gary (December 10, 2013). "Winnipeg lands Heritage Classic". Winnipeg Free Press. p. D3. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- Johnston, Mike (January 20, 2015). "Winnipeg Heritage Classic postponed until 2016". Sportsnet. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
- "Statement Regarding the Heritage Classic". Winnipeg Jets. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- "2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic coming to Winnipeg". NHL. March 6, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- Campbell, Tim (October 23, 2016). "Heritage Classic shined bright despite game delay". National Hockey League. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- Rosset, Mitch (October 23, 2016). "Edmonton Oilers shut out Winnipeg Jets in Heritage Classic". Global News. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- "Oilers shut out Jets in Heritage Classic". NHL.com. October 23, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- "Oilers shut out Jets 3-0 at Heritage Classic". Edmonton Journal. October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- Penton, Kirk (October 22, 2016). "Bandit Berthiaume strikes again". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- Williams Patrick (March 6, 2016). "Gretzky to play for Oilers at alumni game". NHL. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- Campbell, Tim (October 22, 2016). "Lindstrom traded during Heritage Classic Alumni Game". NHL. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Details announced for 2016 Heritage Classic". NHL.com. Retrieved October 31, 2016.