Snow expected for Winter Classic



That’s a view of Ann Arbor this morning, shot from the 12th floor of the lovely Campus Inn hotel. If you look just to the right of those buildings in the middle and squint hard enough, you can almost make out the Big House, site of tomorrow’s Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.

There’s a light snow falling at the moment, with temperatures around 15F. According to the Weather Network, the forecast for tomorrow is snow during the morning, transitioning to snow showers in the afternoon. The game starts at 1 p.m. ET, meaning the weather could create a pretty compelling scene for both those in the stadium and watching at home.

“In hockey, the success of the Winter Classic started in Buffalo because of that snow,” NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood said yesterday during a conference call. “I think that snow-globe effect is something that people started talking about immediately. The snow-globe could be in full effect come New Year’s Day with 110-some-odd-thousand people around on a beautiful sheet of ice.”

Related: Greetings from the Big House

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.