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Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium could be canceled next week

By Kyle Austin

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New Year's Day outdoor hockey at the Big House may not be happening. ( file photo)

The NHL canceled its first regular season games Friday after another deadline passed in its labor negotiations, and the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium could be next.

The NHL announced the cancellation of all games through November 30 -- 26.5 percent of the 82-game regular season -- on Friday.

ESPN is reporting that the outdoor hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs scheduled for New Year's Day could be canceled as early as next week.

ESPN's John Buccigross posted a similar report on Twitter.

The fate of the Winter Classic has been a subject of speculation since before the league's collective bargaining agreement expired last month. After it was revealed that the lease terms allow for cancellation up until the day of the game, the Toronto Star reported last month that the league could cancel the game in November.

With no end in sight for the lockout, the latest reports suggest that it may not take until latter stages of November for the Winter Classic to fall by the wayside and could be decided upon relatively soon.

Kyle Austin covers sports for


Frustrated in A2

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

I hate to see the NHL season not being playing but I love te fact that that game won't be played here (fingers crossed)!!!

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

This is a total bummer. I didn't have tickets, but I have good friends who did and who were really looking forward to going. This really sucks. (Can I say that? Or will I get deleted? Hope not.)


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

U of M, Tell all the greedy millionaires, both players and owners, to go away and never consider coming back.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

I like hockey, both to play and to watch. But the NHL and particularly the players are foolishly fighting over scraps. They'll be lucky if any fans come back; Detroit is one of the only markets that makes money, and now they're going to stab the locals in the back by canceling the Winter Classic.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

I'm afraid you're sadly uninformed, and it turns out I was actually wrong about Detroit. Yes Toronto, Montreal, and *one* of the New York teams actually turn a profit. No other teams do. $130 million isn't actually much profit, when you consider there are several hundred players making a million/year or thereabouts.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Yeah because Toronto, Montreal, two New York teams, The Black Hawks, Vancouver could never make money. ONLY the Red Wings. The NHL teams combined made a PROFIT of about $130 MILLION last season. Some teams lost money, and if they can not run their business and make a profit, they should close the doors just like a restaurant that can not compete. Sorry Florida, if you can not afford to play in the NHL maybe you should go to the minors. I also wonder how many of these teams are ever sold for less than the owner paid for them. When they show me those figures then lets talk, otherwise this is 100% ON THE OWNERS. They decided to have a lockout. This is NOT a strike.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

The NHL has had two lockouts in 10 years. They can't even run a bake sale. It's to bad, because that is the one sport that I really follow.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:18 a.m.

this is an easy sellout. i know a bunch of folks coming from the toronto area. i hope they don't cancel it... i want to see it. i got my tickets.

Alan Caldwell

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

The NHL strike is mutual suicide, very sad to watch.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

It is NOT a strike, it is a lockout. The players were willing to work under the terms that were there for the last several years. It is the owners who have decided to take their pucks and go home. Facts matter.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

thanks lord

greg, too

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

It's kinda fitting that in the season of halloween, Bettman is doing his best to kill professional hockey as we know it. Pretty soon, the NHL will belong in the history books next to the USFL, the couple forgotten baseball leagues of early 1900's, and the ABA. I would imagine he has done a good enough job to kill it in fringe markets in the south already and now he is moving on up to the places where it is more beloved to see what he can do. Luckily, we have college hockey, overseas hockey on ESPN online, and video game systems, so we don't need the NHL.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

On a positive note - We won't have to worry about any planes flying over and disturbing the neighbors


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

i heard today on 97.1 it will be cancelled. i would count on it.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Not to jinx it - but how well do they think this would have done anyway with Michigan playing in the Rose Bowl game on Jan 1st?


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

SMC & Johnny, I'm not saying the world revolved around Michigan football - but I don't think it's even questionable that CFB is a more popular sport than hockey and even gets a huge number of fans in Canada. I don't think the game would be a "dud" but I don't think they'd sell it to capacity, or at least fill it to such. You both act like this is some sort of national championship game, Johnny even comparing it to the Rose Bowl. It's not even close IMO - it's just a regular season game played outside with no importance outside of that.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

it would not matter. The crowd for the hockey game comes from far and wide, not just Ann Arbor. It would be like saying how would the game do if the Spartans were in the Rose Bowl. EXACTLY the same. I guarantee enough people would drive from Toronto or Windsor to watch two original six teams play on a day when nobody has work. If you think otherwise, you are living in some fantasy world where the entire world thinks UM football is the only game in town. Oh and by the way, the Detroit Tigers are in t he World Series tonght at the EXACT same time UM plays Nebraska. I am going to go out on a limb here and say the World Series is a sell out

Kyle Austin

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

I don't think it would have helped, but I'm sure they still would have gotten a good crowd. I think they were counting on a lot of fans driving in from Toronto


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

News flash: Michigan football is not the center of the sports universe. There are 6 million people living in the Greater Toronto Area. I would estimate that about 90% of them are Leafs fans. Probably more. Tickets for home games at the Air Canada Centre are almost impossible for the average person to get, and murderously expensive when they are. With that in mind, you could put all 115,000 tickets for this year's Winter Classic on sale at a lemonade stand on Yonge street, and you'd sell them all in 2 hours, and every single seat in the stadium will be occupied on January 1. With that in mind, if Michigan does make the Rose Bowl, good. With any luck, it'll clear people out of town to go to Pasadena, to make room for the massive amount of Canadians that will be coming in.


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

No question the game would have drawn a lot of people & money to the area - but I still can't imagine it would do as well with Michigan in the Rose Bowl vs. Michigan out of the RB. I have a feeling this game would have "sold out" like the UMass Michigan games "sell out".


Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

this wasn't about Michigan sports - Michigan was renting out the stadium, the beer licenses and stuff were separate. It was for the regional hockey fans and as the other comment says, toronto fans whose fans might drive here I believe Michigan Athletics wills till get a few million for this

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

hail2- The game is/was predicted to be a quick sellout. Remember Toronto is only a few hour drive away and would have drawn a very large fan base to Ann Arbor. A number of local businesses were anticipating a signifiant boost from the event: The best case scenario at this point would be for the season to start with the Classic, but that is apparently looking very unlikely.