Feb. 9, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall (left), Nicklas Lidstrom (5), center Henrik Zetterberg (40), center Pavel Datsyuk (13), and goalie Jimmy Howard (right) pose for a photo with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (third from left) during a press conference for the 2013 Winter Classic between Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Goodbye Winter Classic

The NHL has officially cancelled The Winter Classic.

The National Hockey League today announced the cancellation of the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The game was scheduled for Jan. 1 between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition, the League announced all SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival events scheduled for Dec. 16-31 at Comerica Park in Detroit are cancelled.

With the cancellation of the Winter Classic, any hopes of a NHL season are starting to vanish. While the fans who were planning to go see the teams play in Ann Arbour and visit the Winter Festival in Detroit will be hurt by this news, the real people affected will the the business owners, the cities, and the state of Michigan. The Winter Classic was going to bring a lot of money into the state and that money will now go elsewhere.

Both the NHL and the NHLPA are to blame for the cancellation and for not being able to get a deal done in time to save the biggest game of the year. While more blame lies in the hands of the owners for starting the lockout, the failure of both sides for not being able to come to a reasonable conclusion before the first game of the season was cancelled, let alone the Winter Classic, is inexcusable.

The NHL has announced that the next Winter Classic will be held in Detroit. Fans might take solace in that, but it is an empty promise from a league that is on its second lockout in 8 years. Fans thought the cancellation of the Winter Classic would be the NHL’s nuclear option, but with that gone there is only one more thing left to cancel this season and it isn’t their subscription to Lockout Weekly.

Get ready for another long battle between the NHL and the NHLPA because this lockout will not be over any time soon.

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