Contrary to previous reports that the NHL lockout wouldn't guarantee that the 2013 Winter Classic would be cancelled, a league source told The Toronto Star that, barring a settlement, commissioner Gary Bettman plans to cancel the New Years Day game.
"Gary told (the board of governors) he was going to cancel the Winter Classic in November because he didn't want the players to use the game as leverage," the source said.
A source close to the players said that the NHLPA had heard similar news.
Leafs GM Brian Burke, the NHL and the NHLPA declined comment. Jimmy Devellano, Red Wings senior vice-president, said the organization remains in wait-and-see mode.
The game, which has typically been a big television ratings success, is currently scheduled to be played at The Big House, Michigan Stadium, between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1. With the lockout underway, no bargaining scheduled between NHL players and owners and owners seemingly being unwilling to budge from their position on the collective bargaining agreement, the game's future looks grim.