Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/28/12 at 04:53 PM ET
from Craig Custance of ESPN The Magazine,
It's the kind of day when Dan Craig would have performed magic. The NHL's ice guru, responsible for perfecting the outdoor sheet of ice at the NHL's annual Winter Classic, would have appreciated the blanket of clouds overhead, with just enough sun fighting through to brighten the sky. The temperature is cold, but not too cold. Mid-30s Fahrenheit on a late December afternoon in Detroit.
And there is Comerica Park, empty. It was supposed to be home to a winter festival of outdoor hockey activities, including high school, junior and college hockey games along with two highly anticipated alumni events. All canceled because of a CBA fight.
Instead of a large sheet of white ice surrounded by kids playing that annual never-ending game of shinny, Comerica Park is a wide span of green. Impressively lush and well-groomed for December in Michigan.
Staring into the empty stadium brings another reminder of the NHL lockout's steep price. No winter festival in Detroit. No Winter Classic in Ann Arbor. No sign of the NHL anywhere in Hockeytown.
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