The NHL is convinced that another lockout will not be happening. From releasing the full season schedule to the latest release of the logo for the 2013 NHL Winter Classic which is being held in Detroit at Michigan Stadium, home of the Wolverines. The game is slated to feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs — a matchup that will prove historic if it happens.
But the question on everyone’s mind is will we even get to see the game?
So far there’s bee only stalled talks when it comes to sorting out a new collective bargaining agreement and that’s a problem. This is an unstable league we’re talking about with a rich history of not being able to work out CBA’s in time to save games. Twice in the last thirty years the NHL has lost games to a lockout and not even ten years ago the entire season was lost because a deal was not reached.
Not since the 1994 World Series was cancelled had a major sporting championship game been cancelled and the year’s winner left vacant.
Worse yet is it seems no one really cares about the NHL talks. ESPN in it’s popcorn, tending to the herds type of “journalism” (and I use the meaning of journalism like Peter Griffin uses his brain), have barely even talked about the NHL lockout and if they do, it’s a buried story that acts as complete afterthought.
The 2013 NHL Winter Classic (which even if it happens will receive minimal coverage from ESPN anyways so why even bother picking on them) would be historic in nature. It would mark the first time that a Canadian and American hockey team would be playing each other in an outdoor stadium in the modern era.
Prior to this year’s Classic, only American teams have played each other in the Classic — all of which, with the exception of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, were members of the Original Six. Pittsburgh was one of ten professional teams in the 1920′s but was disbanded along with the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Maroons during the Great Depression.
Customarily the Winter Classic was two American teams and the Heritage Game was the annual outdoor game between Canadian teams.
But like all announcements that have come from the NHL and it’s teams in recent weeks and months, all is overshadowed by the uncertainty of the lockout. As much as fans want to be reassured by all this news, the fact of the matter remains that the NHL may not even have a season at this point. If that does indeed happen, the future of Hockey may be in jeopardy and if lost, would be one of the greatest tragedies in sporting history.