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


If NHL commissioner Gary Bettman cancels the Winter Classic, Detroit defenseman Ian White doesn’t have much hope for the rest of the season.

“If he’s willing to cancel that, I don’t know why he’d want to play a season after that, because that’s the highlight of the year,” White said recently, as per the Windsor Star. “So if he’s willing to throw away that game, then the balance of the season, I would think, is definitely on the line. So it’s terrible if that’s what’s going through his mind.”

It’s been reported that the Winter Classic – still scheduled for Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs – will be scratched by the NHL later this week.

Symbolically, the cancelation would be significant and would further tarnish the league’s image. Nobody can deny that.

That said, to suggest that the NHL won’t want to play a season without the Winter Classic may be stretching it. Monetarily, losing the event wouldn’t come close to what’s already been lost by the cancelation of the schedule through November.