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2013 Winter Classic Announced: Detroit Red Wings Will Host The Toronto Maple Leafs In An Original Six Showdown
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2013 Winter Classic Announced: Detroit Red Wings Will Host the Toronto Maple Leafs In An Original Six Showdown

Two major stories were being closely watched this past week in the NHL world. Number one of those developing stories was the announcement of the location for the 2013 Winter Classic, the traditional outdoor hockey game that has been a major draw for the league since it was started. The location, Michigan Stadium, was made with University of Michigan's Athletic Director Dave Brandon, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Mike and Marian Illitch, the owners of the hosting team, the Detroit Red Wings.

This game, scheduled for New Year's Day, 2013 will mark the first time a Canadian team will play at all and features an Original Six match up against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This season, the Leafs are sitting with a tenuous hold on the number eight division in the Eastern Conference while the Wings are holding onto the League Leading number one spot.Toronto, which has struggled in recent years, has not made a playoff appearance since losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2004. Detroit is also riding high after hitting a milestone, 19th straight win at home. Detroit has not missed the playoffs in nearly two decades.

The other story that is being closely watched, especially by Detroit area fans is whether or not current team captain, Niklaus Lidstrom will return for one more season. After the playoffs last season, Nik played with the idea of retiring, giving himself a deadline to make a final decision and then keeping the media waiting until that day to announce that he was indeed coming back. Nik, always one of the strongest players on the team has spent twenty seasons with the Red Wings and has won the Norris trophy (for best defense man) seven times. His teammates and fans are all hoping that the lure of the Winter Classic will bring him back for yet another season.

The Winter Classic was started in 2008 with the Buffalo Sabres facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game that came several years later, featuring the Detroit Red Wings and division rival Chicago Blackhawks, gave the NHL its highest American television ratings in over three decades. The Red Wings won that icy game, played at Wrigley Field by a score of 6-4.

Typically scheduled for New Year's Day or the day after, the Winter Classic has become a traditional game that hockey purists and casual fans are excited about. Other teams are vying for their chance to host a Winter Classic in venues near their own cities.


Street Talk

I am a Wing Nut from way back... I watched the team when the town called them the "Dead Wings".. before Detroit was even Hockey Town! I have scared off more than my share of dates with my hockey insanity- including one idiot who announced that there were no women who understood the left wing lock .... Oh? Thanks, any time I can write hockey- I go for it !

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great article Amie, Its great to see you compassion for the game of hockey. Very interesting, and love the Red Wings! Keep those great articles coming as we know this game is just as exciting as football and basketball, Thank you

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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