2013 Winter Classic

NHL cancels 2013 Winter Classic


The 2013 Winter Classic has been canceled.

The news comes prior to an official announcement from the league, but is based on a number of reports (including those from the Associated Press and ESPN.)

The cancelation of the game — which was to be played on Jan. 1, 2013 — is a blow on a variety of fronts:

— The event had already sold between 80,000-90,000 tickets, according to University of Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon.

— Traditionally, the game has been a television ratings bonanza. Annual viewership has gone between a low of 3.7 million to a high of 4.57 million, tremendous numbers for hockey. The 2011 Caps-Pens Winter Classic was the most-watched regular season game in 36 years.

Detroit’s Hockeytown Winter Festival also falls by the wayside. The event was set to unfold over the course of two weeks, featuring amateur games, open skates, musical acts, the Great Lakes Invitational, an OHL doubleheader, an AHL game and the Red Wings-Maple Leafs alumni contests.

And for you optimists out there, some even worse news — there is no ‘resurrection’ plan for the Classic this season.

“I can certainly confirm that if the game is canceled, there is no ‘resurrection’ scenario for this year,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email to the New York Times.

It’s obvious why the league would be forced to stick with its decision. Preparation for and execution of the Winter Classic is a massive undertaking — last year, rink-building preparations for Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia began on Nov. 21, which was 42 days prior to puck drop.

But hey, if there is a glimmer of hope, Daly did say CBA talks will resume in the “relatively near future.”


Ian White wonders why the NHL would want to play a season without the Winter Classic

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

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

1 Comment

Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…