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.”
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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)