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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab


Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Elliott domestic violence case being taken to city prosecutor

Belichick: Brady is not going to lose his starting job

Report: Brown 'confident' Steelers will rework his contract

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

MLB asks Yaisel Puig to stop wearing his Vin Scully cleats

Study finds link on babies named Shea, Mets’ success

Durant: Being cheered by Oracle Arena crowd ‘felt a little weird’

10 must-watch WWE Network outside-the-ring videos

Is Marchand worth the money he’s reportedly asking for?

Rams sent emails hawking hats to old ticket holders in St. Louis

Miami Marlins unveil logo for 2017 MLB All-Star Game

Enes Kanter blasts writer over Russell Westbrook bashing

WATCH: Rick Sutcliffe cuts up tie during Cubs-White Sox game

Kirk Cousins has excellent take on franchise tag

Broncos DB during DUI arrest: I can't wait to tell Obama

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker