2013 Winter Classic

Red Wings confirm — if there’s no Winter Classic, there’s no Hockeytown Winter Festival


It turns out the NHL lockout won’t just affect the 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

There’ll be some collateral damage as well.

According to a report from Crain’s Detroit Business, the cancelation of the Winter Classic also means the cancellation of the Hockeytown Winter Festival, a weeklong celebration of hockey at Comerica Park featuring games at the junior, collegiate and American League levels.

“The 2012 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival events will only take place if the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic game is played,” Wings Senior Director of Communications John Hahn told Crain’s via email.

Released in June, the schedule for the Winter Festival stretches over two weeks and is filled with events:

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 (competing for the 2012 MacInnes Cup.)

DEC. 29: Ontario Hockey League doubleheader featuring the Windsor Spitfires vs. Saginaw Spirit and Plymouth Whalers vs. 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.

DEC. 31: Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown.

With the NHL canceling all November games on Friday, there are rumblings the Winter Classic could be axed as early as next week.

Wild lose Graovac (groin) for 2-3 weeks

Tyler Graovac, Sam Reinhart,
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After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.

Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.

At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.