Giant Center will soon have yet another Calder Cup banner hanging from its rafters. The Hershey Bears announced that they will be hosting a pregame banner-raising ceremony celebrating the 2022-23 championship team before their 7 pm home opener on October 14th against the Belleville Senators.
The Bears set an AHL record in June when they defeated the Coachella Valley Firebirds in Game Seven to win the franchise’s 12th Calder Cup. Next season, they’ll attempt to win back-to-back championships, a feat no AHL team has accomplished since the Bears did it in 2009 and 2010.
Mark your calendars 📅
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) July 11, 2023
The Bears’ full season schedule will release Wednesday, with single-game tickets going on sale later this summer. More details about the pregame festivities will be announced at a later date.
By the time the puck drops in October, the Bears’ roster will have plenty of fresh faces, with many members of the championship team already moving elsewhere. Garrett Pilon and Mason Morelli signed with other NHL organizations, Henrik Borgstrom and Shane Gersich are expected to play in Sweden next year, and both Sam Anas and Zach Fucale will play in the KHL. The Capitals also declined to extend qualifying offers to Gabriel Carlsson and Kody Clark. Other players could be on the Capitals’ NHL roster.
Most of those departing players will miss the banner-raising ceremony, but Pilon might have a front-row seat. Pilon signed with the Ottawa Senators on the opening day of free agency and barring him making their NHL roster, could watch the celebration from Belleville’s visiting bench. The long-time Bear called attention to the coincidence on Twitter.
— Garrett Pilon (@gpilon41) July 11, 2023
The banner-raising ceremony will come the day after the Capitals’ own home opener, when they’ll start their season against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
There’s still time to grab some Bears Calder Cup championship merch if you plan on attending.
(Hershey, PA – July 11, 2023) – The 2023 Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears announced today that the club’s home opener for the 2023-24 season, presented by Penn State Health, will take place versus the Belleville Senators on Saturday, Oct. 14 at GIANT Center. The puck drops on the club’s 86th American Hockey League season at 7 p.m. that evening.
That night’s proceedings will also include a pregame ceremony featuring the raising of Hershey’s AHL-record 12th Calder Cup banner to the GIANT Center rafters. Further details about Hershey’s Opening Night festivities will be announced later this summer.
The full 72-game schedule for the 2023-24 season is expected to be released on Wednesday, July 12.
Single-game ticket information will be announced later this summer.
The Hershey Bears are the 2023 Calder Cup Champions! The Bears will take the ice to defend the club’s title starting in October, but you can score Calder Cup merchandise and secure Season Tickets for the 2023-24 season now!
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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