Feb. 9, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; General view of Michigan Stadium during an NHL press conference for the 2013 Winter Classic between Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Classic: Detroit Red Wings versus Toronto Maple Leafs

The NHL made the official announcement today that the Winter Classic and Winter Festival will be back in Detroit next season.

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs were supposed to play Winter Classic on January 1st, 2013, but the lockout forced the NHL to cancel their plans. It was a big blow to the City of Detroit economically and it is good on the NHL for bringing it back. This game and festival will bring a lot of money into Michigan and the City of Detroit.

Both teams will face-off on January 1st, 2014 at The Big House in Ann Arbour. The game is expected to draw a record crowd of 110,000+ fans and beat the previous record held by Michigan and Michigan State.

The Winter Festival will be held in Comerica Park and will host High School, OHL, and AHL games along with the Great Lakes Invitational.

Ken Hollandis putting pressure on Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, and the Russian Five to agree to play in the alumni game. Last year Yzerman said he would not play in the alumni game last year, but I doubt Mike and Marian Ilitch will take no for an answer.

Gary Bettman announced that HBO will be back next season for another 24/7 series. Fans will be able to see candid moments from their favorite players. I am looking forward to more of Datsyuk’s dry humor, but I doubt he will be on camera for very long.

Kocur and Sittler are wearing the Alumni sweaters, while the young ones don the Winter Classic jersey. The one in the Red Wing jersey is Kris Draper‘s son.

The is not yet any news about tickets availabilty or prices at the moment, but that should all be announced very soon.

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