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The 2013 Winter Classic Stir-Up

Kirk Maltby warming up at 2009 Winter Classic vs Chicago Blackhawks

 

The Winter Classic committee has agreed to have the 2013 Winter Classic in Michigan that year allowing the Detroit Red Wings to  play on home ice and be the host.  When they visited the Winter Classic stage in 2009 vs. rivals the Chicago Blackhawks, they won 6-4 in a game that was played at Wrigley Field. This time around, they look to host another rival, original six team the Toronto Maple Leafs. But, like everything else, there is some “drama” if you will. The league wants to have the Winter Classic game in The Big House, U-of-M football field in Ann Arbor, which seats more than 110,000 people. The league wants to break the record of most attendance at a Winter Classic game, which this stadium could obviously do.

Now, here comes the problems. Owner Mike Illitch, a Detroit guy, wants to put the outdoor rink at Comerica Park, where his other team, the Detroit Tigers, play. So there has been word of a peaceful truce, so to speak. The Winter Classic is said to be held at The Big House, while the rink at Comerica Park would hold the Great Lakes Invitational tournament in late December and possibly an alumni game.

My thoughts? Sure. I think they should drop the Ann Arbor idea right now. First off, Ann Arbor is 43 miles west of Detroit, it’s not Detroit. That would be like telling Philadelphia this year that they were hosting the Winter Classic of 2012, but the ice rink was in Pittsburgh. And who cares if you break the record of most attendance, this has only been around since 2008. You have a long time to keep breaking the record. It doesn’t have to be broken every year if it isn’t necessary, which it isn’t.

I’m from a city about 20 minutes from Detroit, and I would rather go to Comerica Park than Ann Arbor to witness a great game, which I plan on doing, but you do what you have to, I guess. The Winter Classic committee seems a little too greedy, because all they want is money, which is what everyone wants these days, isn’t it?

Source: http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/7459001/nhl-eyes-maple-leafs-red-wings-winter-classic-big-house-second-rink-detroit

Topics: Ann Arbor, Chicago Blackhawks, Comerica Park, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Mike Illitch, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh, The Big House, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winter Classic

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  • ISUConfidential

    I love watching the Winter Classic every year. I am a Blackhawks fan and I really thought that the the Wings would be playing the Hawks in a rematch of 2009. I guess Wings vs Leafs is cool (heard it is quite the rivalry for the fans). However, I just don’t think Toronto is the best option. Canada has their own version in the Heritage Classic, which is supposed to be played next year.

    I doubt that American fans are going to tune in and watch Toronto play. In the past, the Winter Classic has been with two good teams with star players. The Wings are great and have a lot of players that casual fans will know. Who is the NHL and NBC going to market for the Leafs (who are currently 8th in the East)? Phil Kessel?

  • ISUConfidential

    I love watching the Winter Classic every year. I am a Blackhawks fan and I really thought that the the Wings would be playing the Hawks in a rematch of 2009. I guess Wings vs Leafs is cool (heard it is quite the rivalry for the fans). However, I just don’t think Toronto is the best option. Canada has their own version in the Heritage Classic, which is supposed to be played next year.

    I doubt that American fans are going to tune in and watch Toronto play. In the past, the Winter Classic has been with two good teams with star players. The Wings are great and have a lot of players that casual fans will know. Who is the NHL and NBC going to market for the Leafs (who are currently 8th in the East)? Phil Kessel?

  • david_907

    Too long has the NHL been pandering to you American fans. All you guys do is manage to lose franchises. Teams like the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh probably would be in danger of relocating had they not tanked for years and built up top draft picks. Certainly was the situation in the ‘Burgh!

  • david_907

    Too long has the NHL been pandering to you American fans. All you guys do is manage to lose franchises. Teams like the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh probably would be in danger of relocating had they not tanked for years and built up top draft picks. Certainly was the situation in the ‘Burgh!

    • ISUConfidential

      @david_907 It’s like that in every pro league. Fans aren’t going to want to watch a losing team (unless you’re the Chicago Cubs) and when you lose, you have better opportunities to build your franchise back up. I’m just saying, I don’t think the NHL is doing the best thing by bringing in an average team from Canada in the most-watched hockey game of the year for Americans.

  • ISUConfidential

    @david_907 It’s like that in every pro league. Fans aren’t going to want to watch a losing team (unless you’re the Chicago Cubs) and when you lose, you have better opportunities to build your franchise back up. I’m just saying, I don’t think the NHL is doing the best thing by bringing in an average team from Canada in the most-watched hockey game of the year for Americans.