The 2013 Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Leafs goes Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, but downtown Detroit will also play a major role in the festivities.
Today, the Red Wings announced a preliminary schedule of events for what they’re calling the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers.
Dec. 15-26: Celebration of hockey featuring amateur games, corporate outings and open skates.
Dec. 27-31: Outdoor festival featuring interactive games, autograph signings, face painting and ice sculpture exhibits as well as musical performances and entertainment.
Dec. 27-28: Great Lakes Invitational featuring the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos and Michigan Tech Huskies all competing for the 2012 MacInnes Cup.
Dec. 29: Ontario Hockey League doubleheader featuring the Windsor Spitfires taking on the Saginaw Spirit, and the Plymouth Whalers battling the J. Ross Robertson Cup champion London Knights.
Dec. 30: American Hockey League game featuring the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliates of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, respectively.
Dec. 31: Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown featuring legendary players from two of the National Hockey League’s most storied franchises going head-to-head.
The alumni game will be the feature attraction – could Nicklas Lidstrom make an appearance? – though the Great Lakes Invitational should be a lot of fun, too. Maybe PHT will show up for some Frank the Tanking with the college kids.