What's buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Without NHL visit to Ann Arbor, is the Winter Classic in serious lockout trouble?

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo

.

Getty Images

It's no secret that the 2013 NHL Winter Classic at the Big House in Ann Arbor will be canceled rather hastily if the lockout lingers on. The NHL doesn't want it used as a political prop for the players, and frankly needs several weeks for publicity and prep work to get the annual event up to speed.

That's why this report by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday was a little disconcerting:

Officials from league headquarters went to Michigan Stadium in September to do logistics scouting, part of the massive preparation to hold the scheduled outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1. But with the NHL already having canceled two weeks of the regular season -- and with no progress made on tangible issues between the NHL and the NHL Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement -- no follow-up trips are on the horizon, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press today.

Were the 2012-13 schedule under way as normal -- were the Winter Classic not at risk -- operations people would have had a great opportunity to see Ann Arbor at its busiest this month.

This stands in contrast with last season's Winter Classic, in which NHL officials visited and evaluated Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia; but keep in mind that deal was struck later in the year, so there was a truncated ramp up to the event. The official press conference for the 2013 Winter Classic was in July.

There's clearly still time to preserve the Classic for this season if a deal is struck in short order. But the NHL isn't going to hold this week-long event — which could be the biggest revenue-generating event in league history — if the work stoppage has sucked away all its momentum and tarnished its luster.

View Comments (21)
  • No settlement: Goodell, Brady await 'Deflategate' ruling

    No settlement: Goodell, Brady await 'Deflategate' ruling

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady attended last-minute settlement talks between the NFL and its players union Monday before a judge announced he would decide the dispute over deflated footballs with a … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 minutes 40 seconds ago
  • Morgan leads England to dramatic win over Aussies

    Morgan leads England to dramatic win over Aussies

    England held their nerve to beat Australia by five runs in a thrilling finish to a one-off Twenty20 international on Monday. Captain Eoin Morgan smashed a superb 74 off 39 deliveries to lift the home team to 182 for five and despite a brilliant 90 … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 10 seconds ago
  • Jason Day wins The Barclays in another runaway

    Jason Day wins The Barclays in another runaway

    Jason Day, so poor as a kid that he shopped at a store where he stuffed as much used clothing as he could into a bag for $5, is trying not to think about the potential of a $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. Day, so cocksure as a teenager … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Man United turns to Monaco again in bid to sign Martial

    Man United turns to Monaco again in bid to sign Martial

    For the second straight year, Manchester United is turning to French club Monaco to solve its striker shortage in the final hours of Europe's summer transfer window. Twelve months ago, it was Radamel Falcao. The French Football Federation said … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Race is on: Health officials say Edmonton lake safe for international triathlon

    The race is on — Alberta Health Services has declared Hawrelak Park in Edmonton safe for swimmers. Officials with the International Track Union's Edmonton triathlon, to be held Saturday and Sunday, say it's good news. Workers from the City of … More »

    The Canadian Press - 11 minutes ago