Winter Classic could be cancelled on Friday

The Canadian Press is reporting that the NHL’s Winter Classic is next on the chopping block as the lockout drags on and the formal cancellation is expected to be made on Friday, just ahead of a deadline built into the NHL’s contract with the University of Michigan.

This year’s Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings was billed as the biggest in the event’s six-year history with organizers expecting a crowd that would beat the world record of 104,173 for hockey who attended the “Big Chill” NCAA game at the University of Michigan in 2010.

You can read more by clicking here.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


  1. kalevine says:

    why not just set the expectations. Every 7th season the league will take a year off. It’s like a sabbatical -the players can choose to spend more time with their families, play elsewhere, work towards a degree, take another job, or some combination thereof. The owners can….I don’t really care. After that year, everyone will so want to get back to the big bucks that they will settle on something. And the fans will know what to expect too

  2. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. We are safe and sound. Thank you for all of your well wishes and positive thoughts. I have never experienced such wind in all my life. During the height of the storm it sounded like a train. My wife and I were very concerned that the house was going to collapse. Despite the cracks and moans the structure made, it held up just fine. The air outside during the storm seemed to pick up smells from all over and carry them. The smell of pine was overwhelming.
    Took a quick walk around and besides the roof if the kennel which has blown away, and several tree limbs, all is well. Of course we have no power but we have plenty of flashlights, batteries and canned goods. My kindle is fully charged and loaded with several books.
    My internet access is very spotty so I might not be posting much but don’t worry. I am lucky to have one of those marriages where we still like each other. CHeers guys! I


  3. Cal says:

    I hope everyone stays safe during Sandy.
    Today, I am counting crows:

  4. Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

    I haven’t watched the NHL for 5 or 6 years. I watch the Canadiens games, when they stop playing I stop watching. When I want to watch hockey I go local. The NHL isn’t much more than the WWE with skates and sticks. The fact that the media probably has more to report on and a bigger audience for it because of the “labour unrest” sort of proves that.

    I’m with Timo, fold the damn league and start over with the teams that matter. If you can’t run a team with gate/concessions and Canadian TV money, maybe an NHL franchise isn’t the business for your market.

    Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

    • English is not a Crime says:

      You nailed it 100% right there my friend. Pro sports in general has gotten far too corrupt for me to be bothered with anymore. I will tune in to the Habs of course, same as watching the WWE for those who are so inclined. I don’t expect to watch much of an actual sport though, I expect to see refs turning a blind eye so the big thug can hit this guy with a chair or the manager can hit that guy with a foreign object, a 6’9 goon can smash someone’s head into the turnbuckle and break his neck with no repercussions etc…..

      To answer the poll on the right…. NONE, I am sticking 100% to amateur sports where the money and greed isn’t as big a facotr toward corrupting everything (it still happens occasionally, but on a MUCH smaller scale). I’ve been sticking to CHL (OHL specifically) hockey for years now and have no interest in returning to the NHL until at the very least Bettman is gone. I was hoping all along for a LENGTHY lockout as I see that as being the most likely way to ultimately put Bettman’s job in jeopardy.
      CHL hockey is every bit as good, the players are basically every bit as talented (as seen by the ability of kids like Hall, Landeskog, Skinner, Nugent Hopkins, Stamkos etc to immediately jump into the NHL and not look out of place) and there are never squabbles over money, contracts, free agency, salary caps or other such bullshit. A CHL player gets his head taken off and mr Branch crucifies the thug that thought it would be a good idea to do so instead of going the other way and blaming the victim while turning a blind eye to it all. Tickets cost me 20 bucks a game, or I could fork out 10 times that much to go see the Leafs going through the motions in the nose bleeds. 10 jr games in great seats vs 1 Leafs fiasco in the “cheap” seats?

      No comparison whatsoever

  5. Timo says:

    Who cares. NHL is boring. The sooner it folds the better.

  6. Rad says:

    Saw “The Last Gladiators” on the big screen over the weekend. Chris Knuckles Nilan truly was a warrior for the ages during his playing career. He is fighting a different battle now, and I sure hope he makes it. Keeping my fingers crossed for Chris.

    This is what Knuckles had to say in the film about his trade to the Rangers after a run-in with unpopular coach Jean Perron: “I was devastated by the trade. It broke me. I don’t think I ever recovered from it.” A Boston boy, he loved playing in Montreal. He bled bleu, blanc, et rouge. One of the positive things towards the end of his career was that Serge Savard, who traded him to New York in the first place, brought him back to Montreal so he could retire a Montreal Canadien.

    It’s an emotional documentary. Nilan’s dad was a tough military man, but he is in tears throughout much of the film. Knuckles himself tears up on several occasions. There is vintage footage of Knuckles, Bob Probert, Tony Twist, Donald Brashear, Todd Ewen, Terry O’Reilly, Behn Wilson, Marty McSorley. These were the last gladiators.

  7. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …My elder daughter lives with her husband not far from the Hudson River in Connecticut …I’m watching CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Sandy while she’s trying to quell My distinct concern for Her safety

    …her basement already flooded with a foot of water at least an hour before the projected eye of Sandy was expected to fully hit where she lives

    …I concernedly suggest they get in their cars to get away from the proximity of the river

    …she tries to assure Me there is absolutely nothing to worry about …she explains, ‘Dad ! Don’t worry so much, Brian ( her hubby) and our neighbors have built sandbag barriers around our homes ! ……and, oh yeah Dad, besides we are located in this little valley …no way the water comes over the hill’

    …well, to say the least, learning about ‘the valley’ made Me so much less worried

    …NOT !!! 🙁

  8. commandant says:

    From Brendan Gallagher: “Movember is almost here and once again ill be helping raise money in my grandpas name who we lost to prostate cancer 3 years ago. I’ll be donating 250$ for every win Hamilton Bulldogs get in november and 20$ for every win Vancouver Giants get aswell. Anyone who wants to help out with donations/raising awareness by growin greasy muzzy’s it all helps. Send me some pics along the way and we’ll have fun for a great cause.” Twitter @BGally17

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

  9. HabFab says:

    Everyone out there be safe, apparently a lady has been killed in TO from a flying street sign. This is apparently lower Manhattan at the moment;

  10. jo_maka says:

    Thanks commandant. Sorry, can’t answer directly on the iphone. This is what made me wonder:

    I know it’s early, but these guys still had a nice average I’d say for last year’s draft. I’m just wondering if the quality of this crop will make it that those guys could be available later, be it for their size, the market they play in or any injury (e.g: Sorensen’s surgeries). One can hope, I guess.

    • HabFab says:

      Interesting that they are running drafts so soon. However I suspect that Timmins could do better.

    • Rad says:

      I didn’t realize Drouin was only 5’9″, 160. Unless he’s got blazing Yakupov-like speed, he may not be top 10 after all.

    • commandant says:

      Well it all depends where we pick.

      I’m assuming that if there is no season they will use the Sidney Crosby Lottery system… which would suck because we only get 1 ball.

      We are much better off if they play the season… because I think we will get a good pick, plus we own Nashville and Calgary’s second rounders, and they could struggle too without Suter and Calgary just isn’t very good.

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

  11. punkster says:

    This is worth reposting:

    As some of you know, former HI/O regular JD partners every year with the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation during the month of October to raise funds for underprivileged youth.

    Since its inception in August 2000, the Foundation has donated upwards of $13.5 million to 450 charitable endeavours from across the province of Quebec. This winter, the Foundation expects to unveil its fifth hockey rink in Montreal, a facility where underprivileged children will be able to borrow equipment and skate out onto the ice to enjoy this amazing sport.

    The fundraising effort is built around JD’s Halloween home haunt located in Kirkland, QC. Although cash donations are accepted on Oct. 31st, a $5 donation can also be made at any time by texting “Habs” to 45678.

    This is a slideshow of this year’s display.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  12. ‘Winter Classic was supposed to be canceled today. But #NHL offices are closed today/tomorrow due to Hurricane Sandy. So may delay that.’ Michael Russo (Star Tribune).
    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:
    Twitter: @teliopost

  13. HabFab says:

    Serious has his latest Prospect watch out.

  14. Hali_Hab says:

    I am just really fed up with the NHL and this whole situation. The longer it goes on the more i become apathetic about the whole thing. its a shame. I find it really hard to be sympathetic to either side in this foolish nonsense. Whats even more disheartening is the fact that the NHL promotes and prides it self on the small town/blue collar/ origins of its players. To date i guess i bought in to that idea as well. Although not entirely and not with out some grasp of the reality of what the game really is. A business first and for most. I guess what i am really trying to say is this whole situation has taken the part of me that has been unchanged since childhood. A part of me that i did not even know existed because it was ingrained so deeply with in. I am afraid now that being the age i am that i may never get that feeling toward the game back again. The disconnect the league and the players have managed to create between them self’s and the common joe is just a shame.

    What do we get if this whole thing was to be settled tomorrow? We get to do this whole dance all over again in six years. For the fourth time.

    What a joke.

  15. jo_maka says:

    For all those following the prospects at large, Commandant et al, great job you guys are doing, I’m a big fan, I got a question:

    Is there a real chance for us to run away from New Jersey in June with Sasha Barkov, Anthony Mantha and Nick Sorensen or Sven Andrighetto in the draft ? Or we need to tank what will be left of this season (if there is one) to get that ?

    • HabFab says:

      Only if we have the balls…

    • commandant says:

      To get 3 of those guys? I’d say no chance.

      Barkov is going to be picked in the top 3, its just a matter of where.

      Mantha could also be a first rounder. if not an early second rounder.

      Sorenson and Andrighetto will also be high picks…

      Walking out with all those guys would be a dream. I’ll be happy with one.

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

  16. AliHaba says:

    Tim Bozon 16 games 29 points
    Alex Galchenyuk 15 21
    Brady Vail 16 20
    Charles Hudon 11 16 still out
    Olivier Archambault 16 15
    Erik Nystrom 14 14
    Darren Dietz 14 9
    Magnus Nygren 17 9
    Mac Bennett 5 5
    Danny Kristo 2 4
    Daniel Pribyl 5 4
    Dalton Thrower 10 3
    Sebastian Collberg 18 3
    Mark MacMillan 4 2
    John Westin 13 2
    Josiah Didier 4 0
    Colin Sullivan 5 0

  17. natethegreat says:

    why can’t the NHL and NHLPA get their dispute settled through arbitration. it would be fair and fast.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Because neither side wants to give in?


      • habs11s says:

        Translation: see you in October… hopefully…


        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

        • habsfan0 says:

          October 2014 is my guess.

          • HabFab says:

            No deal by next September, my money would be on replacement players.

          • habs11s says:

            Soon we’ll see all the 3rd and 4th liners of the NHL bagging groceries and painting houses for some $$…


            “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

          • Bripro says:

            You’ll notice it’s not the 3rd and 4th line players hyping twitterverse.

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  18. habs11s says:

    The fans are definitely in an abusive relationship with the NHL. They keep f-ing us over and abusing us over and over and we keep running back for more… screw the NHL, screw the players, this ‘stalemate’ and ego contest is just juvenile and I’m definitely sick of waiting for these babies crying about giving something up… I can only hope no one makes it out to the first game back in Oct 2013

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  19. frontenac1 says:

    Just came in from tying down stuff outside. Winds are just starting. This is going to be a real Shit Storm.. You guys down in the Big. Apple are getting the worst of it for sure. Good Luck to All our American Friends.Stay Safe Amigos!

  20. ooder says:

    hey guys i just checked the bulldogs rsoter and our resident russian Avtsin is not on it..any idea what’s up with him?
    also i dunno who said it but they hit the nail on the head in refrence to the lockout.
    they are shitting on our place and training us to enjoy it.
    i really really hope the nhl takes a big hit in terms of revenue…maybe that will teach them a lesson when it comes to lockouts

    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • HabFab says:

      Not sure where you checked but here he is;

      Don’t ask me because I don’t know…

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Just to add on to this, the guy has not played thus far. I can’t find any mention of injury. Maybe in the Hotel bow wow?


        • Bripro says:

          So Jim, have you been forced to batten down the hatches yet?
          I hope you’re holding out OK.
          I for one, had just decorated my front yard for Halloween yesterday, and today, I had to walk down the street to pick up half my stuff.
          Now it looks like it did saturday.

          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Jim is now out of power, only has his cell phone, hopefully nothing worse happens where he is.

          • Blondie says:

            Hope you’re not to close to the lake yourself Burly. The Chicago Tribune was saying forecasters were predicting 16 to 24 foot waves. Maybe even getting to 33 feet. Then later I read something that mentioned possible 50 footers on the great lakes – no further specifics.

            Edit: They were talking about Lake Michigan, but I would imagine Lake Ontario will be similar.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think Jim and his son Chrisadiens have much more to worry about than those of us here in Southern Ontario. Appreciate the concern, have a good evening Blondie!

          • Blondie says:

            Yeah, trying to keep happy thoughts and good wishes for them and everyone else down there. The worst I expect in Brampton is a power failure. Still have some concern though for people on Toronto Island and along the lakeshore, they may have to stay on their toes for the next couple of days.

      • ooder says:

        thanks man..weird i checked the ahl site and he was not on the roster..but maybe its because habfan10912 said that he didn’t play any games…
        wonder whats up with this kid
        The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • commandant says:

      Avtsin is just not developping. He’s a kid with skill though. Classic case of all the tools, no toolbox. No hockey sense, no defensive game.

      He’s likely playing out his contract and back to Russia to look for a KHL job.

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

  21. jon514 says:

    Nice to see Galchenyuk break the top 10 in the OHL scoring race. He deserves it!

  22. Cancel the season already! It’s so freaking obvious that’s coming. Neither side is negotiating. Go hire a couple professionals to mediate the talks. Maybe a couple corporate lawyers could do it for you. Me, Ian, and Jim would have it done in an hour. Salary cap would be gone, 10 years contracts would be gone, September would be dedicated to actual tryouts, and practice. Three game preseason. You have your name on a jersey then you get 50% of the sales. You’re a fourth liner? You make a million bucks! You score 100 points? You get 8 million bucks! You score 40 points the following year, you drop in pay to the next level of salary. One more team in Ontario, and less teams in the South (bb Phoenix, the NHL took care of you for too long). Kiss my Ask NHL/NHLPA you all suck! Professionals? Professionals get the job done!!!! End Rant 😆

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures

  23. 24 Cups says:

    Paul Kelly’s take on the matter (not that it will ever happen).–nhl.html

  24. Cal says:

    Something is happenin’ here
    But you don’t know what it is.
    Do you, Mr. Jones?

  25. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’ve decided that regardless of the results of further “negotiations”, I am done with the NHL this year. Will I be back for next season? You betting men Mssrs. Fehr and Bettman?
    I may just find I can do nicely without it. I think, at this point, this is the only logical response a fan can make. Other than that, they are training us to eat sh*t and like it. **** that.


  26. habs11s says:

    Nice burn….


    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  27. AceMagnum says:

    Finally some good news.



  28. punkster says:

    The only thing classic about that one would have been another classic Loaf fail.

    St00pid to ∞…AND BEYOND!

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  29. JohnBellyful says:

    Burke just issued a statement saying cancelling the Winter Classic is no big deal. It wasn’t going to make or break the Leafs’ run to the Stanley Cup. However, losing out on HBO 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic really hurt, he said.
    “I bought 20 new ties and learned 40 new words — all for naught now!” he thundered in print.

  30. TommyB says:

    So, the Winter Classic could be cancelled on Friday. Is that supposed to snap the PA into action? I don’t think there will be a settlement by Friday. Does anybody else? So it’s just another move by the league in it’s efforts to paint the players black. Another calculated PR move. Cancel it now. Who gives a rat’s *ss about that game anyway, other than Detroit or Leaf fans? I doubt the players are concerned about it. They never played on outdoor rinks growing up, why would they want to play on one now? Wake me up when something that matters happens.

    • B says:

      Cancelling the Winter Classic this week is not intended to pressure the players. It is being cancelled to avoid a large deposit that is due by the end of the week. They don’t want to commit the money with no agreement in place (or in sight). Like so much recently, it comes down to money.

      • Bripro says:

        The Ilch family, which owns both the Tigers and Red Wings, have already put up a large security deposit which the City of Detroit (Ann Arbor) had demanded, to make sure they wouldn’t get played.
        Theirs was a wise move.

        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

        • B says:

          I read about $100,000 of a deposit (but not who paid it) that will be lost as a penalty if the event is cancelled by as late as Friday. A $250,000 installment of the stadium rental is due Friday and may be avoided. Also, if it is not cancelled by Nov.3, the league will be responsible for any out of pocket expenses incurred by the university related to the event. I suspect there are other costs that can be avoided if they cancel by Friday. Cancelling this week is about money, not trying to pressure the players.

          • Bripro says:

            I don’t know about the $ specifics, but from what I’ve read (or heard), the Ilch family are very close to the U of M.
            I’m sure that there’s some leeway if needed.
            It’s another Butthead pressure tactic.

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • TommyB says:

        Doh, how could I forget…the money! Of course. It’s always about the money, isn’t it.

        • Blondie says:

          That and the power trip. I believe Bettman when he says their last offer was the best they were going to put forward. When it wasn’t accepted lock, stock, and barrel the season died. All that’s left is PR and managing the fallout.

  31. 24 Cups says:

    Does anyone have a direct phone number to the Bell Centre so that I can inquire about getting a refund for my October 27th game tickets?

  32. Chuck says:

    Meh. It was probably going to rain that day, anyway.

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  33. HabinBurlington says:

    So Ilitch loses World Series last night, wakes up and finds out he also lost the cash cow Winter Classic. Not a great 24hours for him.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yes sir. Not a good week for him at all. Just like the US economy, I don’t think the league gets out if this one so easy. Repercussions will be felt for years.


  34. habsfan0 says:

    OK. This is starting to get serious.

  35. L Elle says:

    Ok, now I’m positive both sides are idiots and/or a-holes. In other words, idiot a-holes. Sorry for the rant. 😉

  36. commandant says:

    Once the Winter Classic is cancelled, good bye season.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Seems that way, huh? The owners took a shot with their take it or leave it proposal and the players did the same with the pick one of three proposals proposal. Long winter coming.


  37. Bripro says:

    Now that news really sucks.
    If there’s no winter classic, that would mean that somehow, Butthead managed to appease the NBC Sports Network executives, and must have promised him their soul.
    (Wait, that’s been spoken for already…some spike-weilding red guy).
    Anyhow, one thing is for certain…
    No Winter Classic, no games this year.

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  38. Mustang says:

    First to say, here we go. The announcement that the season is being cancelled cannot be that far off the way Bettman is going.

    Edit: 10 or 15 seconds too late to really be first.

    • JF says:

      I think the season will be cancelled, but not right away. Two weeks ago, according to Bettman, 82 games were still possible. Suddenly nothing is possible? I think he’d look a little foolish. He’ll wait until after New Year, conduct a couple more media shows to make it look as though he’s trying to get a deal, then announce that he regrets the players don’t seem to want to negotiate. So… no season.

  39. mark24 says:

    Bettman is pathetic

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    Ahem, cough cough**Clears throat, First!

    • Bripro says:

      Good for you, buddy!

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        THanks so much for that Bri! hey did you see my post awhile back about the Bulldogs/Marlies back to back home and home series on Nov. 16th and 17th? If you can convince your customer to wait until then, we could do some hockey games while your here.

        • Bripro says:

          I’m scheduled for the 8th. You know what it’s like when you’re chasing orders…’re at their mercy. Sorry, Gerry.
          But I’m not giving up yet. It’s early, and winter is long…especially with no hockey.

          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I hate to tell you this but I will be yelling Fore! in Myrtle Beach when you’re here in town. Sorry we won’t be able to at least have a few pints. Have a good one bud.

          • Bripro says:

            Do you golf Myrtle Beach more than once/year? We’ll have to talk.

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I see what you did there, Crazy Lady!!!!

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Well, I didn’t, but my imagination is running wild, so no clarification required.

          • Bripro says:

            Jim, it’s “first”….backwards.
            Unless that was a sarcastic face, in which case….

            never mind.

            EDIT: Wrong place….oops!

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I’ll never figure it out? 🙂


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