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Posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Plan B: If Winter Classic is canceled, GLI moves to Joe Louis Arena two days later

By Kyle Austin

The University of Michigan may lose its scheduled outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium this week, but the Wolverines’ hockey team will play on.

Reports surfaced last week that the 2013 Winter Classic, scheduled for New Year’s Day, could be canceled this week if there is no agreement in place between the NHL and its players association.


Michigan defenseman Kevin Clare skates against Michigan State at last year's GLI. file

Michigan’s hockey team is scheduled in the Great Lakes Invitational Dec. 27-28 at Comerica Park, as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival.

But as the Winter Classic goes, so goes the Hockeytown Winter Festival, so GLI organizers have a plan B in place.

The GLI would move to Joe Louis Arena Dec. 29-30 should Comerica Park be unavailable, Wes Frahm, director of athletic communications and marketing at Michigan Tech said Monday. Michigan Tech is the host school for the GLI.

The game times have yet to be determined, but the tournament bracket would remain the same: Michigan Tech will play Michigan and Michigan State will play Western Michigan on the first day of the tournament, and the championship and third-place games will take place the following day.

Frahm said Michigan Tech’s athletic director, Suzanna Sanregret, has been in touch with NHL and Red Wings officials. While little information has been provided as to the timeline for Winter Classic cancellation, the school will be notified one way or the other as soon as a decision has been made.

The GLI has been played at Joe Louis Arena every year since 1979. This year would be the first tournament staged outdoors.

Should the GLI be moved indoors, the hope is that the tournament could be played outdoors at as part of a future Winter Classic, Frahm said.

Even if the league were to start playing regular-season games by late December, Joe Louis Arena would be available: the Red Wings are off Dec. 28 and have a game in Ottawa scheduled for Dec. 29.

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.



Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Yeah, I've loved going to the games at the Joe since I was a kid (and getting to play there during too). Any truth to the rumor this will be the last GLI as the CCHA conference is breaking apart and they will have to all be realligned?

Rob MI

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

The CCHA has absolutely no bearing on the GLI--in fact, the GLI was in existence years before the CCHA came to be. None of the games are conference games and teams would still continue to compete against each other as non-conference opponents even if they were from the same conference. As "the premier college hockey holiday tournament", I do not see the changes in conference alignment that will take place after this season as having any bearing. I would not believe this rumor.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

I hope it still goes on. Great way to see college hockey (and relatively inexpensive-4 tix, 4 dogs/slices, 4 pops for $44). Great thing to take the whole family to see. And you get 2 games out of each day.

Kyle Austin

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Doesn't sound like anything has been decided yet. Red Berenson was talking about future scheduling last week and mentioned the GLI, before adding "assuming that's still going." Take that for what it's worth, I guess.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

This is GREAT news...nobody I know wants an outdoor GLI...