Justin K. Aller
The 2013 Winter Classic will be canceled on Friday.
The NHL will be announcing the cancelation of the 2013 Winter Class on Friday afternoon, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. The event was scheduled to take place on Jan. 1, 2013 at the University of Michigan's football stadium and would pit the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings in a meeting of two Original Six teams.
According to LeBrun, the decision was made on Friday morning in an internal meeting at the league offices in New York. Due to several logistical issues, it was determined that putting on the annual event this year would prove too problematic.
This year's event was scheduled to involve several games besides the actual Winter Classic, such as two alumni games at Comerica Park and a two-week festival called the "Hockeytown Winter Festival," which will feature games ranging from high school to college hockey.
In addition, the league didn't want to host the event without the proper promotion, namely, the widely popular documentary series "24/7," which has profiled the last two outdoor games. With the backdrop of the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, the league believes it will be difficult to use the event as a celebration of the game, which is what it is intended to be.
According to the Associated Press, the 2014 Winter Classic will be held at Michigan's football stadium and will still feature the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.
According to ESPN, the cancelation of the event does not definitively mean the rest of the season will be scrapped.