Mayor: Canadian Motor Speedway would be “perfect” for Leafs-Sabres outdoor game


The Winter Classic, coming to a motor speedway soon?

In the eyes of Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin, maybe. Just maybe.

That’s what Martin told the Toronto Star on Monday after the Ontario Municipal Board cleared all appeals to the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway development near the Peace Bridge — the bridge connecting Canada (Fort Erie) and the U.S. (Buffalo, NY.)

“I think a Leafs-Buffalo game there would be perfect,” Martin said. “We’re not sure the design of it would be perfect, with the oval and the road course there, but it would be a great event to have once this is up and running.”

The Star reports the Maple Leafs are targeting 2017 — the club’s centennial celebration year — to host one of the NHL’s “big three” events: The All-Star game, the entry draft or the annual outdoor game (which, thanks to the cancelation of the 2013 Winter Classic, isn’t technically an annual event anymore.)

The CMS — designed by NASCAR great Jeff Gordon — has yet to break ground, but measures 332 hectares and will feature a 2.5-mile road course and seating for 65,000. The current timeline for completion is 2014.

“We talked about that (Leafs-Sabres game) when the idea for this track first came up,” Martin said. “It’s a dream event, but I think it would be great to see Toronto and Buffalo here.”

(Image courtesy

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.