Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Oilers, Canadiens to play outdoors after brief alumni contest

AP , EDMONTON, ALBERTA

Snow fell all day Wednesday, wiping out the first scheduled practices on the temporary outdoor ice rink the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens will play on this weekend.

About 52,500 spectators are expected Saturday for the first NHL game to be played outside. The league-record crowd is expected to arrive early, despite a forecast of low temperatures, to watch an hour-long alumni game before the regular-season contest.

"I'm glad we got down," said Hall of Famer Larry Robinson, who will play for the old-time Canadiens. "The pilot was saying he could barely see the runway."

The alumni game will mark the first time players who won four championships with Wayne Gretzky in the 1980s will be playing with him again in Oilers sweaters.

Whether Mark Messier will be one of them still hasn't been decided. Messier is still an active player for the New York Rangers.

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