…or so a source has told Pierre Lebrun. ESPN's Katie Strang wrote this today:
The NHL has decided to cancel the Winter Classic, which was slated to feature the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at the University of Michigan's football stadium in Ann Arbor on Jan. 1, a source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on Friday.
So while the NHL hasn't come out and said that the Winter Classic will not be played ion New Year's Day, it's been said secondhandedly by a guy well connected in the industry.
And as I wrote this, Nick Kypreos tweeted this out:
Sources saying sponsors r being notified the #NHL Winter classic gm' will be cancelled. An official announcement coming as early as 2pm est
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) November 2, 2012
So it looks like the Winter Classic isn't going to happen this year folks. I know a lot of us already knew this because we've spent every waking minute of the NHL lockout dying for information about hockey. It shouldn't come to a surprise, but it comes with a pain. When the NHL cancels it's biggest regular season revenue maker what's that say for the rest of the season?
It tells me that this season is all but over. Unfortunately I've been saying that we weren't going to have a season during the playoffs because the upcoming CBA wasn't going to change and neither side wanted to address it. If these players and these owners wanted a season this year, they would have met much earlier than July and been meeting regularly. Instead the NHL and the PA would rather play public relations so they don't take a black eye from the fans.
And the honest truth is the fans are the ones taking the black eyes. Teams have locked fans down to still paying their season tickets knowing that a season wasn't going to happen (and let's be serious, did you think Jeremy Jacobs believed a puck would drop in the Garden when October hit on the calendar?). To cover any bullshit, teams are cashing in on season tickets by offering awful 1% back as a "thank you" for keeping tickets.
With each passing day it looks bleak for the NHL. I'm not sure about anyone else reading this, but I can tell you that my interest in the NHL is waning day by day. I have my Bruins jerseys and Fathead and all my other black and gold shit hanging up in my man cave, but I'm past the point where I search through the listings on my dish and think to myself "I wish hockey was on" because I know it's not.
I know the NHL doesn't give a shit if I'm sitting at home watching a game or not because they don't care about playing said game.
So yeah, cancel the Winter Classic and while you're at it just announce the 2012-2013 season to be put in the grave and maybe we'll see you in late 2013.