It’s official: Winter Classic is cancelled


The National Hockey League on Friday afternoon officially cancelled the 2013 Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, which was slated for Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium.

 “The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today’s decision unavoidable,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Canadian Press. “We simply are out of time. We are extremely disappointed for our fans and for all those affected.”

The announcement came after 326 regular-season games have already been cancelled due to the ongoing lockout.

The NHLPA released the following statement from executive director Don Fehr after the Winter Classic was cancelled:

“The NHL’s decision to cancel the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners’ implementation of the lockout itself.  The fact that the season has not started is a result of a unilateral decision by the owners; the players have always been ready to play while continuing to negotiate in good faith. We look forward to the league’s return to the bargaining table, so that the parties can find a way to end the lockout at the earliest possible date, and get the game back on the ice for the fans.”

Read more by clicking here.

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey weighs in on the cancellation of the Winter Classic, writing that both sides are losers in this labour battle. You can read his column by clicking here.

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)


  1. The Dude says:

    I KNOW this is a Habs hockey site but I feel I must say this to my American cousins”besides,right now there’s no Habs”
    You have a big “NO BRAINIER” decision to make in 4 days that will affect the World….a recovering world from the “W BUSH” YEARS! The last 4 filibusterer years of Obama have gave me hope for your country and proud for your Nation and safe at our border .Obama is a puppet, but one for the middle class … Romney is a salesman who will say anything to get more power and slam you with his personal hidden agendas that come from a mind that believes in a planet called Kolob”Hitler thought his descendants to be from Atlantis”… BE VERY AFRAID ,THE MANS reasoning is pooched and his brain couldn’t run a chicken! I f Romney becomes your leader I will be the 1st to insist on a wall from the Pacific to the Atlantic separating our Nations and insist we join the Europeans as a mega block of Nations whom want nothing to do with the U.S.A.,China and Russia !”GO BLOW YOURSELVES UP,LOL”
    And here in Canada …”VOTE TRUDEAU” and charge Harper with TREASON!

  2. kempie says:

    Paccioretty absolutely levels Peter Mueller and takes a penalty for it. Looks clean to me:

  3. Malreg says:

    Just saw this mentioned on twitter. Here’s a video of Max Pacioretty catching Peter Mueller with his head down as he cuts across the middle…. in a NOVICE tournament!

  4. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS; Don Fehr to players yesterday: “You may have seen media reports this evening of a supposed league “offer” regarding the “make-whole”…aspect of the negotiations. There have been no proposals from either side since the last talks took place on October 18th. Meanwhile you should not read too much into media reports about informal phone calls… Bill Daly and Steve Fehr will meet tomorrow in a city and location that both sides have agreed to keep confidential in an attempt… keep the focus on the talks and not on conducting media scrums.”-Donald Fehr.

  5. Phil C says:

    If the owners have agreed to transfer the “make whole” provision to the owners side of the revenue pool, there should be an agreement this week. This was the last issue of contention and it seems like a very fair deal to me. Even though the players are getting a smaller piece of the pie, it should help the business to be healthier as a whole which is good for the players in the long run. The owners have cost certainty and should be able to balance the books in any real hockey market. I am optimistic.

    I just don’t see why they couldn’t of gotten here two weeks ago. I can’t help but think that there was a hidden agenda on the NHL’s side, like they were running a test on starting the season later, or maybe even trying a shorter season.

    • HabFab says:

      I saw the word “share” attached to that “make whole” provision. IMHO the problem has been both sides trying for a win, when a compromise is needed.

  6. commandant says:

    Today, the rest of Pool B, including team Russia, Slovakia and Germany.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I was taking a look at some of your write ups on different countries and it got me looking at Gachenyuk and the the US squad.

      I’ve always found the US jerseys real sharp and I think with Galchenyuk on the team I could get away with buying one (without being a trader) with his name on the back. I’ll have to wait and see if he wears 94 or not before buying it though?

      Not saying the US will win it all because I think with Canada’s roster shaping up the way it is that they’ll slaughter everyone.

      • commandant says:

        He wore #14 in the summer. Not sure if that will be what he wears at the tourney, but it is what he had for the US vs Finland and Sweden tournament.

        As for the US, they have a good roster, and they are a contender, but if I had to rank the teams they’d be the 4th strongest team in this tournament on paper.

        1) Canada
        2) Sweden
        3) Russia
        4) US

        On paper doesn’t mean that will be what happens on the ice though.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  7. Hobie Hansen says:

    During the lockout a lot of fans, myself included, are focusing on the AHL , CHL and if you’re a real diehard maybe the US college and overseas leagues.

    One of the Canadiens’ prospects who seemed to have been getting a bit of a bum rap last year, and even heading into this season, was Louis Leblanc.

    He played played 42 game with the Habs and 31 with the Dogs in his first professional hockey season. Looking at some of this year’s first year professional players like Beaulieu and Tinordi, experiencing growing pains getting adjusted in the AHL, is a testament to how tough the transitions are form junior to the AHL and to the NHL can really be.

    My point is that for Leblanc to even get called up to the Habs in his first pro year is a big accomplishment and a very tough challenge. Getting adjusted in Hamilton alone would have been a real challenge. Not to mention he was sent up to the NHL and back down to the AHL a bunch of times.

    I took in a few of the dogs games before Leblanc was injured this year and he definitely seemed to have a step on everyone else. The dogs radio crew were mentioning the same thing last night between periods when his name came up.

    I think he’s still got a solid chance of eventually becoming a regular 2nd line player who can score 20-25 goals in the NHL. There’s no guarantees in hockey but I think Leblanc will stick. I think he had a decent chance of coming out of the gates strong with the Habs and sticking right away. Especially if the lockout ended and he’d played 30 games in Hamilton and was in full stride to start the NHL season in December or January. I hope when he returns from his high ankle sprain that he looks as good as he did to start the AHL season.

    • Habilis says:

      I like Leblanc and I really hope you’re right about his career prospects. The one thing that worries me about the kid is the injuries. Some athletes are just injury-prone and that ends up defining their careers. I hope that’s not the case here but so far it ain’t pretty.

      • frontenac1 says:

        I like the kid too. The knock on him last year was he needed to bulk up. I understand he put some meat on this year but he looks about the same size to me.That last injury when he went down in the scrum with that Marlie looked like a lack of strength. The kid has talent and moxie but like you, I am worried about injuries with him.

    • neumann103 says:

      I was at the game where he was injured. I didn’t think he had a step on everyone else, but it was a pretty small sample. However the guy who was clearly different than anyone else on the Bulldogs was Beaulieu. His skating is unreal and his offensive instincts are off the charts.

      I was very interested – and somewhat pleased – that at the game I attended Lefevbre had Leblanc playing right wing and not Center. It certainly was not to make room for a more talented Bulldog player at center, and spoke more to the eventual role Leblanc will play with the Habs.

      That being said, I think Leblanc accomplished a lot in a difficult situation with the Habs last year. Without benefit of real off season training due to the shoulder, he was thrown into the insanity, moved around positions and playing in unnatural circumstances. He has more versatility in his game than many others so it wasn’t always a case of “why bother having this guy on the third or fourth line?” but it definitely was not a circumstance that was likely tomake him look good. Still he played whatever role he was assigned with a high compete level.

      Still I had hoped that even if there was an NHL season he would get at least half a season playing 1st line minutes in Hamilton. But I also was eager to see a Habs third line of Prust Eller Leblanc. I think that could be awesome.

      “Et le but!”

  8. HabFab says:

    And I understand this better then “advanced hockey stats”…just saying!

  9. HabFab says:

    A nice read on the CHLPA mess…great lawyer double talk “my brother Randy is no way officially involved with the CHLPA”
    What about unofficially??–who-is-derek-clarke-canadian-hockey-league-players-association-spokesperson

  10. frankcasting says:

    I am totally missing something here: how is the NHL getting any advantage with anyone or anything by doing what it’s doing?

    This whole debacle is on the NHL, players have done nothing to deserve their treatment, nor have fans or sponsors. A time of great business growth is not a time to demand rollbacks, nor is it a time to stop the momentum in its tracks.

    Beginning on Dec 31, 2013 and Jan 1, 2014 the BCS (College Football champs) will begin a new playoff format. People have waited a generation for this. Football is king in the US. Will anyone care about an outdoor NHL game? I hardly do as it is. This was the last year the NHL had a relatively undivided audience to schmooze with the “Winter Classic”.

    A couple of tired clichés come to mind: “The ends justify the means.” I guess the NHL hardliners think that this will all be soon forgotten, and that the concessions they gain from players will replace any lost revenues – including “Winter Classic” – and result in more profits in the long term. But the cliché that comes to my mind most is: “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  11. kempie says:

    Everything will be okay so long as they don’t cancel the ASG. If they do, then I’ll really be pissed.

  12. New says:

    Anyone else getting that old “Yep” feeling with BGL and that CHLPA gang that is disappearing into the fog of excuses.

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