WINNIPEG, MB - The NHL and CFL should not play any games this Remembrance Day.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 is Remembrance Day and will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Canada, with a population then of eight million suffered 66,000 deaths and 173,000 wounded.
On Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. this horrific war ended with an Armistice. Winnipeggers celebrated with day-long celebrations capped by a large evening downtown celebration. Mayor Davidson, Premier Norris, Lieutenant Governor Aikens, and J.W. Dafoe of the Manitoba Free Press addressed the large evening gathering in front of the 300 Carlton Street Free Press building.
In 2007, the CFL had a Remembrance Day scheduling problem. The Eastern Final between Montreal and Winnipeg was scheduled for 12 noon at Canad Inns Stadium. In order to comply with Manitoba's Remembrance Day Laws, the kick off was moved from noon to 1 p.m.
The CFL has scheduled two games for Remembrance Day 2018. If the eastern game is in Ottawa, it would be starting when the nearby National War Memorial Observances are winding down.
At the recent Winnipeg Blue Bomber Fan Forum, Commissioner Randy Ambroise promised to consider rescheduling the Remembrance Day games, which could be rescheduled to Saturday. The CFL last scheduled Saturday playoff games in 2008. If the experiment is successful, they may want to go back to Saturdays for some of their playoff games.
Prior to Christmas, the NHL usually only schedules three or four games on a Sunday. These games could be scheduled in October. In 2017, there were five days between Oct. 8 and Oct. 22, when there were two or fewer games.
The NHL and CFL honour our military in various ways. There are appreciation nights, fly overs, uniform decals, and special t-shirts. The CFL awards the Jeff Nicklin Trophy to the outstanding Western Conference player. Nicklin was a star Winnipeg Blue Bomber Defensive End who died in the Second World War. In October 2014, NHL and CFL teams paid tribute to two Canadian soldiers slain on Parliament Hill and near Montreal. In 2017, the Calgary Stampeders visited Canadian troops in Europe. The NHL is playing a March 3, 2018 outdoor game between Toronto and Washington at the Naval Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. By not playing any games this Remembrance Day, the NHL and CFL would be continuing to show their appreciation to our military and their sacrifices.
After this year, Remembrance Day will not fall on a Sunday again until 2029. If the CFL moves the Grey Cup to the first week of November, Remembrance Day will be in the off season.
By Fred Morris who describes himself as a political activist and sometime political candidate