The 2014 Winter Classic will feature the Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the Detroit Red Wings, reports Kevin McGran of The Toronto Star, citing sources involved in the process.
The Maple Leafs and Red Wings were originally set to face off in the 2013 Winter Classic to be played at the University of Michigan football stadium and had been expected to set a single-game attendance record for the NHL. The Classic was canceled, however, due to the ongoing lockout between the league and the NHLPA that did not come to an end until Jan. 6.
According to McGran, it seems that the NHL is hopeful in not only getting the same teams back in the same venue but also look to be making the event bigger than ever before:
But the Star has learned that the NHL is closing in on final talks with officials at the University of Michigan for use of its football stadium, and with the Detroit Tigers for use of Comerica Park in what would be a weeklong festival of hockey capped of by the NHL game.
The Winter Classic has expanded and grown with each passing year and is considered a revenue boon for the league and the teams involved and has been considered a major success in each year it has been held. With the Leafs and Red Wings set to play in the biggest game yet, it was a massive disappointment for the league and fans that the event had to be canceled.
Over 100,000 fans were expected to attend the canceled game; that's an opportunity the NHL won't pass up again.
For more on the Leafs, check in with Pension Plan Puppets. For more on the Wings, check in with Winging It In Motown.