The National Hockey League announced this past Thursday (November 1) that the New Year's Day Winter Classic scheduled to be played in Ann Arbor, Michigan and featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs and the hometown Detroit Redwings has been canceled due to the lack of a Collective Bargaining Agreement and the inability of the National Hockey League owners and NHL Players' Association to agree on terms for a new one.
This year's Winter Classic also featured a new event scheduled for the day before the game between the Maple Leafs and Redwings featuring retired players from each franchise. The Winter Classic Alumni Game was going to feature well-known players from each franchise like: Chris Osgood, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Igor Larionov for the Detroit Redwings and Curtis Joseph, Doug Gilmour and Darcy Tucker for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gordie Howe was also on the roster for the Redwings but was not going to play.
The cancelling of the Winter Classic also has major financial implications for the Detroit area that was going to host the event. The local Detroit economy could lose up to $50 million in revenue because of the event being canceled and the University of Michigan, who was getting $3 million for letting the NHL use the football stadium to host the event, will only be receiving $100,000 of that after the event's cancelation.
The cancelation of the Winter Classic means if the NHL owners and NHLPA do not come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement within the next few week, the NHL All-Star Game scheduled for January 23-24 in Columbus, Ohio will be canceled making it very unlikely there will be any type of NHL season this year.
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