So it’s official today. Wasn’t it official yesterday? Or maybe when I received the text message alert from ESPN on January 22nd that said “ESPN NHL – Red Wings will host Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Winter Classic on January 1, 2013.”–I screen capped the text message!
I got another message from them today that said, “ESPN NHL – Michigan Stadium will host the Winter Classic January 1, 2013 featuring the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.”
Regardless, the NHL and the University of Michigan announced today in a joint effort with two press conferences, one at Comerica Park and one at the Big House–because obviously having one press conference is not enough–that the Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in an outdoor hockey game on New Years Day.
Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jimmy Howard and Henrik Zetterberg were all at the Big House in their Wings’ jerseys holding hockey sticks, posing for pictures, and answering questions from the media.
I wrote on my twitter this afternoon that this will be the only time Michigan fans will be rooting for a team wearing Red while playing at the Big House and NOT the team in Blue! In fact, even thinking about wearing red into the stadium makes me feel all sorts of confused.
The Michigan hockey twitter posted a picture of an article from the Michigan Daily from Monday, September 29, 1986. Apparently the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs have played against one another on Michigan’s campus once before, this time at Yost Ice Arena during a preseason NHL game. They skated to a 4-4 tie.
Here’s the link to the article if you’d like to read it.
Random Fact of the Day: Maple Leaf players John-Michael Liles and Mike Komisarek both played in the first outdoor game in East Lansing in 2001. Liles for the Spartans and Komisarek for the Wolverines. The teams skated to a 3-3 tie.