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Report: Winter Classic will be canceled Thursday

Oct 29, 2012, 3:24 PM EDT

Big House

The NHL will cancel the Winter Classic on Thursday, a source tells ESPN.

The league’s signature regular-season event was originally scheduled for Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs; however, the lockout will reportedly mean its postponement.

Why cancel this week when the game’s not for two months and the NHL has only canceled regular-season contests through November?

According to, if the Winter Classic is scratched by Nov. 2 or sooner, the NHL will only forfeit $100,000 of the $3 million in rent payable to the University of Michigan.

The NHL was hoping to break a hockey attendance record on Jan. 1.

So much for that apparently.

  1. trick9 - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Atleast there will be Olympics in 15 months or so. If this stays like this odds are good that there won’t be any NHL hockey before that.

    • lordfletcher - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:03 PM


      Everyone with insight into the hockey world (players and owners) said once the winter classic gets cancelled, the season is very soon to follow.

      So in other words. no winter classic is behind closed doors talk of another cancelled season.

      time to start talking prospects and the draft

      • id4joey - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:13 PM

        Hmm. Not sure we should equate canceling of the WC with canceling the whole season. The very nature of the WC requires the decision to be made sooner because of all the prep needed for it to happen. It’s possible to get a deal done towards the end of November and have a partial season, but, that would be too late to begin prepping for the WC. Keep in mind that there are many sponsors involved, and all kinds of legal ramifications which could cost the NHL large financial penalties if the WC is not cancelled by a certain date.

      • lordfletcher - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        just saying from what I have heard… from those who work within ‘a’ team organization.

        They expected the deal to be done last week with the 50/50 but now are believing the season is most likely done for…

        who knows. could be right, could be wrong, but I haven’t been hearing great news these last few days.

        looks like a duck, sounds like a duck… probably is a duck but I am hoping both parties get a deal done.


  2. comeonnowguys - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Thanks, Gary and Donnie. This pee-ing contest has been delightful so far.

    Nobody ever.

    • atfinch1984 - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      Whose dick is bigger?

      • handsofsweed - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:13 PM

        Neither’s. These men HAVE NO PENISES.

  3. bcsteele - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    And good luck breaking that attendance record in the future (if there is one) after you’ve pissed off all the fans with this non-sense.

    • rodeoclowndc - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      Then they could have the Winter Classic in any hockey arena – they might just get 13,000 people to watch.

  4. sjsharks66 - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Hahaha good bye hockey season. This is a joke. I’m glad there has been a drop in comments on PHT. Hope Bettman, daly and the players feel the abandonment from the fans.

  5. scionofflame - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Would also mean no NHL 24/7 this year on HBO. Sad, as I was really hoping to see one for the Leafs and Wings. I can only hope something is worked out by Thursday. : / Or at all, for that matter.

  6. worldseriestiger - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I think they should still do the 24/7…I’d be interested to see what the players are up to with all this free time on their hands…bar fights in Toronto? Guzzling Vodka in Moscow? making prank calls to Gary Bettman’s office? The list of excitement is endless

    • atfinch1984 - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      I’d be interested in watching their negotiations in real time. I guess they’d have to happen first though.

    • flyeredup202 - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      They could road to the 1st regular season game…. NHL 24/7 or NHL NEVER for the title.

  7. jimw81 - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Bettman’s lockout strikes again

  8. sabatimus - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Yes! Cancel it! Cancel it all! You MFing greedy unscrupulous bastards.

  9. blomfeld - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Stand by” friends …

    As one of the very “few” here who’s refused to climb aboard the “doom & gloom” train, I sense that we’re now fast approaching that elusive “magical” breakthrough. So for good measure this morning, I again reviewed the data and re-crunched the numbers … and I’m still coming up with an agreement being announced during the week of Nov 5 – 10 (+ / – 3 x days, with a margin of error @ 5%). Also, not mentioned above in this article though readily available on the internet, is the fact that apparently a “large” number of marquee NHL players overseas have “suddenly” been making travel inquiries through their various agents within the past 24 hours ? And if that wasn’t enough, only two hours ago I received an uncustomary “short” message from my old friend “Stransky” who’s currently lecturing in Vienna. In the message Stransky simply said … “things are going to happen within the next 3-4 days”. So what all this might mean to people is up to them ? After all, we do live in a free country. For me however, I’m now convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that something “extremely” significant is about to take place ! And I believe that that something will be the announcement of an agreement between Bettman and the NHLPA ! :)

    ps: that 3 million is “chump” change as far as the NHL is concerned … the more important consideration is that of logistics, given the many parties involved either directly or indirectly.

    • manchestermiracle - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      The $3 million is “chump change?” Then why cancel now? It sure looks like the NHL is battening down the hatches and preparing for a lost season. I salute your indefatigable optimism, but I also expect to hear from you after the whole season gets flushed.

  10. buffalomafia - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM


    I hope the fans never fill up another arena!

  11. id4joey - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    hockeyflow33, here is a past post;

    id4joey – Oct 25, 2012 at 1:26 PM
    Yeah! They may have to cancel the WC soon. There is a lot of prep time needed for all the activities of the this event. Alumni, The big game, college game etc…. The cancellation of this game may happen much sooner than we think. Perhaps as early as the first week of best mid Nov.

  12. sonofsuzycreamcheese - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    there goes any hope for a season boys

  13. Jeff - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Awesome! Way to go NHL and NHLPA! You guys rock!

  14. amehta256 - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    DON’T be fooled, no deal is happening anytime soon. Players have some leverage given the importance of the Winter Classic to the NHL and its partners so why would they decide to cave in now and give the league what it wants? This thing will drag on until after Xmas until an absolute final final date is given and the players have to decide between a short season or no season at all. Screw these athletes and owners who have no respect for the people who pay their bills.

    • id4joey - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      Players have zero leverage because owners have deeper pockets. Period. And you re right. They don’t care about us. Oh! They say they do, but in reality it’s about their bottom line. For sure they will start a huge PR campaign after the deal. Rest assured that the next CBA will eventually cause another disruption of our beloved sport.

  15. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    So it’s safe to say that this season was over before it ever started? Ashame.

  16. vegasroxie - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Sweet. They lost me last week so I hope they cancel the entire season. I don’t want them to come back. I will save 2 grand on tickets and center ice package.

  17. fortwaynekomets - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:37 PM


    Finally I will know on Thursday if there will be any hope for a season.

    no Winter Classic means no hockey, no playoffs… F U Bettman!

    I’ve already spent my season ticket money on the ECHL and AHL online streaming packages. and I still have $2956 left to spend!!

  18. amehta256 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    You don’t have to wait until Thursday to know that these guys are not going to play for a while. Oh and does anyone in America care? ESPN doesn’t even talk about hockey, NFL and NBA are going to be on…

    • id4joey - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      the heartbeat of over 900 million people in America does not go through ESPN. I m sure TV market for hockey in South America is Nil, and probably not much more for the other sports except soccer. Would you agree?

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        There are 315 million people in the U.S. Did you mean all of America, North, Central and South? That’s about a billion, pretty close to your 900 million and, yes, people in South America watch hockey. They even have leagues and stuff.

      • id4joey - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        America as in there is only one America with population over 900 million. Not sure what ametha was trying to say. Is his America the US?

      • blomfeld - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:18 AM

        Manchestermiracle – friend, I believe that Id4joey is referring to the “Americas” of which my home country “the Canada’s” is a part of … now there’s no doubt that a “few” people may be watching NHL hockey in Patagonia, just as I’m sure a “few” people might be watching Turkish baseball in Mobile, Alabama ? … nonetheless, the bottom line is that all this techno “remote” new-age “fake” fan support is garbage ! … and all that counts is “us” real fans here in North America !

        Sorry, but I’m going to have to call you out now, owing to your support of Brazilian hockey …

        Earps = Blomfeld, Elvis, LA Kings

        Clantons & McLaurys = Manchestermiracle and a bunch of Brazilians

      • williplett - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:57 AM

        Joey: Who are the 900 million you speak of. Please clarify.

  19. mrwings787 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Please cancel the rest of the season… So pht doesn’t have to waste their time with these lockout updates

  20. irokkit - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Not sure why I’m still reading these things….oh I remember. I love Hockey. I’ve been reading some posts lately about how much money people are NOT spending…WOW, what a commendable attribute. You sound like the players. Justifying your actions while innocent working people are loosing out on the income necessary to provide food and shelter for their families. I’m sick to my stomach. I have always prided myself for being a hockey player. Hard work. Big heart. Never say die attitude. Play with pain. No diving (this runs into all life’s aspects). Get up and play or get off and rest.
    …and today I read about whinny babies staking their ego on a blog for saving there large disposable income. I read about a few self acclaimed brainiacs and a few lucky logistic laments here and there.
    I’m disgusted. I’m embarrassed. I’m humiliated. I’m angry.
    I’m even confused by the insanity these men running this NHL have acted. They have spent the last 7 years building… To spend 7 months tearing it down.

    • manchestermiracle - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      I don’t get where you conflate people not spending money on something that isn’t happening with somehow being “whinny (sic) babies.” Maybe I’m reading your post wrong, but it was quite difficult to slog through. Not continuing to spend your money on a product that cannot deliver is just good sense.

      The NHL likes to think of itself as a business. If you cannot deliver your product then, like any other business, you cannot expect your customers to continue their patronage. I feel badly for the support people that depend on hockey games to make a buck, but giving money to the NHL for games that aren’t being played is surely not going to “trickle down” to them, now is it?

    • therealjr - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      What the NHL needs to be taught is that they don’t own hockey. If people decide to say screw you to the NHL that does not mean they give up what they love.

      Play hockey.
      Coach hockey.
      Watch amateur hockey.
      Watch international hockey and international tournaments.
      Watch minor leagues and juniors.

      That is how you speak with your wallet.

  21. amehta256 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    USA is biggest sports market and hockey ranks lower than NASCAR, billiards in viewership. NHL needs to get back to work.

    • id4joey - Oct 30, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      So? There will always be hockey in the hot markets….. Some in the US and some in Canada.

  22. capsfan19 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Just cancel the season. Nothing will get done. Fehr and bettman are going to have a “who’s got a bigger weenie contest” for quite some time.

  23. greej1938l - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Bye Bye Nhls popularity bye bye all the fans

  24. xjokerz - Oct 30, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    I was wondering the same thing Joey .. Do we really have 600 million illegals in this country ?! Damn it I’m voting republican now. Time to build bigger electric fences .. I guess those racist pigs in Arizona had it right

    • id4joey - Oct 30, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      willi, xjokera, The Americas (or America) are lands in the Western Hemisphere that are also known as the New World. Comprising the continents of North America and South America. The population of America is over 900 billion. 

      Source: Wikipedia

      America is NOT the U.S. of A. And yes in  the U.S. the population is approx. 315 million. I suggest you read blomfeld’s post. entertaining and educational. 

  25. amehta256 - Oct 30, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Maybe this time when they comeback they will make nets larger or have 3 on 3 to get the fans back lol

  26. capesouth - Oct 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    It is becoming almost funny at how stupid these people are. Just trashing the game via the lockout…assuming everyone will flock back to watch. Maybe they do over the next 5 years, but then, since Bettman is the commissioner, there will be another lockout and they’ll be right back where they started. I love hockey, so I’ll watch because I always have, but the fanbase that has accumulated over the last few years will not come back that easily. Literally, just throwing the game away before our eyes. When the winter classic is cancelled, the rest of the season will follow. No point in playing a shortened season to a diminished fanbase at that point.

  27. xjokerz - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    ” willi, xjokera, The Americas (or America) are lands in the Western Hemisphere that are also known as the New World. Comprising the continents of North America and South America. The population of America is over 900 billion. ”

    now theres 900 billion? last time i checked there wasnt even 9 billion people on planet earth…

  28. id4joey - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    joker,excellent catch on my typo friend. not only do you now understand the difference between America and U.S. of A, you know the population of America.

  29. turtlematt18 - Oct 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I love the game of hockey and miss it like hell but you know why don’t they just cancel the whole season already because if they wanted to get a deal done they would have. The two sides cannot even agree on when to sit down and talk and what to talk about.
    I am at the point of who gives a damn if they play or not.

  30. phillyphan72 - Oct 30, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Greed,greed,greed is killing professional sports.I used to live and die with all my favorite teams,now the passion is leaving my heart and soul because it just isn’t like it used to be

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