Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 11/2/12
TROY, Mich. -- The NHL sure knows how to ruin a good thing. Since the previous lockout killed the entire 2004-05 season, the league had actually done some good things to move the game forward: changing the rules to allow skilled players more freedom; working to prevent and treat head injuries more effectively; and creating the Winter Classic, an annual outdoor celebration of hockey. This year's Winter Classic was set to be a real extravaganza, centered around storied rivals Detroit and Toronto. The game itself was to played in front of 100,000-plus fans at Michigan Stadium. Before the main attraction, a two-week Winter Festival was scheduled at Comerica Park in Detroit, involving all levels of hockey and two alumni games. The alumni games were nearly as captivating as the Winter Classic itself because Hall of Fame players from both the Red Wings and Maple Leafs were set to play. The Associated Press reported Friday afternoon that the whole thing will be called off, with the official announcement forthcoming. Some of the Red Wings remain in the Metro Detroit area, gathering for informal practices at the Troy Sports Center. They weren't happy about the latest news. "It's surprising that people actually have the courage to cancel something like that when so much relies upon it and so many people were looking forward to it," defenseman Ian White said. "I think to this point we've already had some damage that won't be able to be undone to our sport. They just continue to pile it on, and it actually embarrasses me as a player." Goaltender Jimmy Howard was one of the players who went to Michigan Stadium when they made the original announcement about the event. "Just being down there last year for the media day when they announced it, being out there on the 50-yard line, just looking up and thinking, this is going to happen next year, it was very exciting at the time," Howard said. "It was exciting for not only myself and my friends and family, but also for the cities of Detroit and Toronto. It's disappointing that it's come down to this." Danny Cleary said he had more than 30 family members planning to come for the Winter Classic and Winter Festival. "It sucks," he said. "I'm almost in disbelief a little bit." When the current lockout first began, most people thought that the league and players' association would somehow find a way to get a deal done in time to save the Winter Classic. Now that it's been canceled, this could be a sign that the entire season is moving closer to cancelation. "I started to get that feeling a little while ago," White said. Cleary said he's still optimistic and believes there's a better than 50-percent chance some of the season can be saved. But time is running short. "I really do feel that there's something that can be done," Cleary said. "We just have to find a way to honor player contracts. If we can find a way to do that, we've got hockey. Unlike icing the Winter Classic, that would be a good thing.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Joel Embiid thanks fans for making him All-Star starter

'First-Grade Advice' story shows Jaguars are ultimate underdog against Patriots

Saints' Alvin Kamara hilariously puts Twitter troll on blast

Derrick Rose set to return tonight

NBA suspends Arron Afflalo two games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joel Embiid hopes to play in back-to-backs before February

Telvin Smith was fined $10,000 for taunting, apologizes

Lane Kiffin’s FAU starting QB suddenly retires from football

CC Sabathia loving Yanks’ return to being ‘hated’ Evil Empire

Damian Lillard frustrated over All-Star snubs

Jarvis Landry not interested in 'hometown discount'

The 'Baby I'm a (All-)Star' quiz

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

10 keys to watch for the NFL conference championships

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

College basketball’s most underrated stars

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Baby I'm a (All-)Star' quiz

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker