NHL Cancels the Winter Classic

Justin K. Aller

In what is clearly an attempt to alienate every fan and player in the world, the NHL cancels the biggest hockey game of the regular season.

I really haven't any more words to say about this bullshit lockout except, "Fuck."

For more detailed information, I turn you over to Katie Strang with ESPN:

The NHL has decided to cancel the Winter Classic, which was slated to feature the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at the University of Michigan's football stadium in Ann Arbor on Jan. 1, a source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Friday.

In the six weeks since the lockout began, the work stoppage has caused the cancellation of hundreds of regular-season games, significant revenue loss and what may be irreversible damage to the game's reputation.

Friday, however, was the darkest day yet.

A source familiar with the league's plan had told LeBrun the decision to cancel the game was green-lighted after a final internal meeting at NHL offices in New York on Friday morning. The league is expected to announce the cancellation on Friday afternoon.

For your viewing pleasure:

Here's the press release from the NHL:

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today announced the cancellation of the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The game was scheduled for Jan. 1 between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition, the League announced all SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival events scheduled for Dec. 16-31 at Comerica Park in Detroit are cancelled.

The next NHL Winter Classic – featuring the Red Wings and Maple Leafs - and Hockeytown Winter Festival will take place at the University of Michigan and Comerica Park, respectively. Those who have purchased tickets for the 2012-13 events can either receive refunds or maintain their tickets for the future events. Ticket refund information for the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival can be found at: nhl.com/winterclassicrefund.

The cancellation was necessary because, given the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL, the League was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage events of this magnitude. This year's Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the companion SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival called for the construction of major outdoor rink facilities at both Comerica Park and 'The Big House'. Multiple games involving teams from the NHL, NCAA, American Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, high school and local minor hockey leagues were scheduled, requiring travel and hotel commitments. Beyond the construction of two major outdoor rink facilities, the combined events were preparing to welcome nearly 400,000 guests to Detroit and Ann Arbor over the holiday period.

"The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today's decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events."

"We look forward to bringing the next Winter Classic and the Hockeytown Winter Festival to Michigan," Daly added.

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