NHLPA issues statement on Winter Classic cancellation

Bruce Bennett

Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, calls the cancellation "unnecessary" and places all blame for the lockout's continuation on the NHL.

Two months ahead of New Year's Day, the NHL officially announced Friday the cancellation of the annual Winter Classic, which was to feature the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The decision led to an official statement from Donald Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players' Assocation:

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.

Fehr's statement seems to indicate that the NHL is not even in contact with the players' association or is not bargaining at all at this point.

The cancellation wipes out the NHL's biggest generator of revenue, and there is some concern that with the showcase off the schedule, there is little reason to hold any of the 2012-13 season.

The axing of the Winter Classic necessitates the cancellation of related events, which include:

  • The Hockeytown Winter Festival, held Dec. 15-31 at Comerica Park in Detroit
  • The Great Lakes Invitational, a college hockey tournament that features teams from Michigan
  • The Winter Classic Alumni Game
  • An AHL game between the Toronto Marlies and Grand Rapids Griffins
  • A doubleheader from the Ontario Hockey League
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.