While Comerica Park was only going to be the secondary home of the 2103 NHL Winter Classic and not a part of the actual NHL Game Day festivities, the above image might be the closest that Detroit gets to host any outdoor event for the NHL.
If your into rumor mongering and public relations battles, you may have heard that the NHL, on the heals of cancelling November from the schedule, is already planning an announcement that will strike out the possibility of the annual All Star Game, as well as the ever popular Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
While any announcement so close to the last one is probably a PR threat pushing the NHLPA at dropping the strong man tactics and accepting an offer, don’t expect the NHL to offer up a nice guy proposal to the NHLPA and say, here is another option, take it or leave it if you want to play outdoor hockey.
Just like economic issues regarding money are only in the best interest of a few players, the loss of playing outdoors only affects a small handful, the revenue lost from that game will send shivers throughout the league though.
The NHL isn’t afraid to call games on the account of ego. Since the 1994-1995 season, the NHL has cancelled more than 2,000 games due to labor strife.
Just about two months ago, the league was also telling us that there was plenty of time to get a deal done and the season wasn’t in jeopardy.
It is looking more and more like the NHL is ready to lose an entire season over an inability to negotiate with the NHLPA. While the players union may have been thinking about protective themselves by bringing in Donald Fehr to negotiate their labor contract, they could have successfully killed their chances at getting a deal done in a timely manner, as both Fehr and Bettman refer to blink. Both men think they are in the right, and will not budge from their position, losing this fight is not an option for either.
Trench warfare this negotiation has become, and it is going to be a very long and cold winter without NHL hockey to keep the faithful sane.
Here’s a toast that your weekend goes better after having read this!