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TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - Four weeks and counting! Canada’s unofficial hockey holiday - CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA - hits the ice for its seventh annual broadcast celebration, Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12 noon ET, live from the Nelson and District Community Complex in Nelson, B.C. Host Ron MacLean will be front and centre in Nelson to pay tribute to Canada’s great frozen game, alongside Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell, Scott Morrison and Dick Irvin. The 2007 edition of CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will honour Canada’s countless hockey volunteers: the tireless individuals who are the backbone of the game at the grassroots level and who will do anything - including selling snacks and 50/50 tickets, making hot chocolate and driving cross country - to give kids a chance to play hockey. CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will also feature the traditional big-ticket NHL all-Canadian tripleheader, beginning with Montreal at Ottawa at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Vancouver at Toronto at 7 p.m. ET (available in High-Definition) and Edmonton at Calgary in the night-cap at 10 p.m. ET.

“We are very proud to once again be uniting Canadians everywhere to celebrate our great game,” said Joel Darling, executive producer, CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. “And, we are also looking forward to commemorating the game’s silent heroes: hockey volunteers. Grassroots hockey would not be what it is today without these individuals. We are inviting Canadians from coast to coast to participate in Hockey Day and join us in saluting volunteers everywhere.” During the 13.5 hour-long broadcast, CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will visit the following locations across the country, exploring the importance of our game to these communities:
- Nelson, B.C. - MacLean will be joined by Cherry, Campbell, Morrison and Irvin to tell the story of hockey’s rich and colourful history in Nelson, including the legendary Patrick family - hockey’s “royal family” - who once resided in this western community. Former NHL’ers Wendel Clark, Pat Price and Mike Laughton (Nelson’s first NHL player) will also be on hand.

- Camrose, Alta. - CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey will be on-site at Max McLean Arena to kick off the 100th anniversary of Alberta hockey, and later in the evening to host After Hours. Updates from the Provincial Jr. A match-up between the Camrose Kodiacs and Brooks Bandits will also be featured - Whitehorse, Yukon - Erin Paul will be reporting on volunteerism in a city that is also hosting the Canada Games this winter. A full slate of minor hockey, outdoor hockey and related activities will also be taking place in Whitehorse.

- Regina, Sask. - CBC’s Glenn Reid will go rinkside at Sherwood Ice Sports as the Saskatchewan Hockey Association hosts the First Female U18 High Performance event. The volunteers who run this eight-team, 160-player event will be featured.

- Toronto, Ont. - CBC’s Scott Russell visits St. Michael’s College for celebrations honouring its 100th hockey anniversary, including alumni games and dedication of a plaque honoring every St. Mike’s player - Tignish, P.E.I. - CBC’s Bruce Rainnie hosts from the newly built Tignish Arena, owned and operated by a local volunteer board, as a full and regular schedule of minor hockey hits the ice.

In addition to visiting several locations throughout Canada, CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA telecast will also present the following stories:
- “The Boy Behind The Mask” - Diana Swain visits Moncton, N.B. to tell the story of how an autistic boy’s life turns around when his parents discover that becoming a goaltender frees the child trapped inside.

- “Legacy of Excellence” - Scott Russell salutes former greats, including Dave Keon and Red Kelly as St. Michael’s College in Toronto, whose related hockey programs have graduated 170 players to the NHL, celebrates 100 years of hockey history.

- “The Other Nelson” - Scott Oake tells the story of Nelson Ewbank, known in Birtle, Man. by only his first name (Nelson). Nelson is fondly remembered as the ever-present arena caretaker by many kids- turned-adult, including the NHL’s Ron Low.

- “Carrying On” - Mellissa Fung reveals how one of Saskatchewan’s most beloved minor hockey coaches fights his way back behind the bench after a devastating car crash that nearly claimed his life.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com