One of the biggest disappointments brought on by the NHL lockout and games cancelled as a result was the cancellation of the Winter Classic. This season’s game was scheduled to be played between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium with hopes of drawing 110,000 fans.
Those plans had to be put on ice but the expectation was that those plans would be revived for next season. The Toronto Star is reporting just that:
It’s all still very hush-hush, but the Maple Leafs and Red Wings will indeed play next January in the NHL’s next instalment of the Winter Classic.
A Toronto Star source expects an official announcement to be made in early spring.
While the report is just confirmation of what was expected, it is still good news for all of Southeast Michigan. We’ll take all the good news we can get considering the ongoing financial troubles facing the city of Detroit. The 2014 Winter Classic, even while the NHL game will be played in Ann Arbor, still figures to bring a bustle of activity to downtown Detroit.
The 2014 game is expected to have all the bells and whistles of the one that was cancelled, which included AHL, OHL and university games at Comerica Park in the week leading up to the Winter Classic.
“University games” refers to the annual Great Lakes Invitational, a four-team tournament involving Michigan, Michigan Tech and Michigan State. Western Michigan was the fourth participant this past December but Denver is scheduled to participate in the next GLI.