It's official. The Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs has been canceled. It's the latest casualty of the NHL lockout. In addition, the NHL also canceled the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival scheduled to take place in the days leading up the Winter Classic.
"The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today's decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events."
Today was the last day the league could cancel the game without having to cover all expenses of the game even if they did cancel it at a later date. The next Winter Classic is still scheduled to take place at the University of Michigan's Big House.
"It's definitely very disappointing," Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard told ESPN.com's Katie Strang. "Not only was I looking forward to it but so were all my friends and family. It was going to be a great event not just for us but all the businesses and hotels and fans excited to see us and Toronto play."
In past years, the Winter Classic has generated between $30 million and $36 million for the the cities that it takes place in.
"It's just a shame for the game," Anaheim Ducks defenseman and suburban Detroit native Cam Fowler told ESPN.com's Katie Strang. "You definitely feel for the city because of the opportunity it presents and how exciting it can be for the fans. You feel for them. It hurts the game."
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