2013 Winter Classic

Winter Classic cancelation forces AHL, OHL, NCAA games to be rescheduled


The 2013 Winter Classic was going to be more than just an NHL event, so its cancelation naturally caused shock waves that extended beyond the top league.

The Ontario Hockey League has never held an outdoor game before, but that was going to change on Dec. 29 when the the Saginaw Spirit played against the Windsor Spitfires. Now that game has been relocated to Dow Event Center, the home of the Spirit.

“It’s discouraging, but we’ll try to turn it into a positive,” Saginaw Spirit co-owner Craig Goslin said, according to MLive.com. “We’ve already talked to Olympia Entertainment. Whenever the game is rescheduled, we will be invited back to play at Comerica Park.”

Over 20,000 tickets were sold and fans will get a complete refund.

Additionally, the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational, which is an annual four-team NCAA tournament, was going to be held on Dec. 27 and 28 at Comerica Park. Before the Winter Classic’s cancelation was official, SB Nation reported that those games would have to be rescheduled if everything played out as feared.

Consequently, the tournament will now take place at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 28 and 29.

On top of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs playing, their AHL affiliates, the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies were going to hold an outdoor game on Dec. 30. That contest will also be moved.

AHL Grand Rapids announced that the game will now be played on Dec. 28 at Van Andel Arena, the home of the Griffins.

All that doesn’t even sum up the full extent of what the Winter Classic’s cancelation means. For further details, check out our previous article on the cancelation.

Finally, on a positive note, Michigan might get to host the 2014 Winter Classic instead.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.