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The Malik Report

A Good Chance The Winter Classic Will Be Cancelled By Friday

from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

“While the game may be Jan. 1, I knew that (a decision on the Winter Classic) was coming sooner than people thought,” sports marketer Brian Cooper said Monday. “Say you’re a bank and you’re going to bring down your top 150 wealth management clients and they’re going to block off New Year’s Day — you have to give that a lot of advance, especially if it’s New Year’s Day.”

Cooper, the president and CEO of S&E Sponsorship Group, represents a number of corporate clients who do business with the NHL.

He views the pending cancellation of the Winter Classic as a significant moment in the league’s ongoing labour dispute. The game at Michigan’s “Big House” was one he thought had a tremendous amount of potential because of the inclusion of the Maple Leafs, the first Canadian team to participate.

“This is the first year that it really affects Canada,” said Cooper. “There was going to be a lot of in-market (sponsorship) activations, there were going to be a lot of hosting opportunities, there were going to be consumer promotions. ...

“This was a big date.”

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Comments

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

So, am I going to get my ticket service charges back?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 10/29/12 at 03:49 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Last I heard from one of Malik reports, no.  Go figure. 

It’d go a long way towards fan support if the NHL took it upon themselves to do that, though.  That’d be good PR, but the NHL will never do this.  Having the greatest fans and all.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/29/12 at 04:01 PM ET

Avatar

It would not surprise me if the league jettisoned the Winter Classic sooner rather than later in order to put maximize pressure on the players. If this is truly the last leverage point the players really have over the owners, short of cancelling the entire season, my guess is the league would want that leverage out of the way as soon as feasible.

Posted by timbits on 10/29/12 at 04:20 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Seems strange that they’d cancel the Winter Classic so soon after canceling November games. I would have expected that they’d wait until at least the second week of November.

Posted by bleep bloop on 10/29/12 at 06:17 PM ET

Paul's avatar

For those wondering why the NHL would cancel the WC this week, the NYT reported in August the NHL would lose more money if the cancel after Nov. 3rd.

Plus there are logistics involved, moving the ice making equipment, preparing the field for the game, etc.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/29/12 at 06:22 PM ET

Avatar

It would not surprise me if the league jettisoned the Winter Classic sooner rather than later in order to put maximize pressure on the players. If this is truly the last leverage point the players really have over the owners, short of cancelling the entire season, my guess is the league would want that leverage out of the way as soon as feasible.

Yep, totally agree.

The NHL makes a load of money at two times.  The WC, and the Playoffs.  Those are the two points of financial leverage the NHLPA has.

It is not inconceivable that Fehr has been using the lure of WC revenue as a goad to try and work the NHL off their stance.  If that’s the case, then ‘cancelling’ the WC pulls those particular teeth.

Although to be clear, if after ‘cancelling’ the game a deal is struck it’s not like the thing can’t be resurrected in fairly short order.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/29/12 at 06:25 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

For those wondering why the NHL would cancel the WC this week, the NYT reported in August the NHL would lose more money if the cancel after Nov. 3rd.

Only that which UofM tried to pass off as expenses incurred as part of preparations to host the WC.

While I’m sure that UofM could make an argument to nickel-and-dime the NHL, there doesn’t seem to be a strong argument that they’re really ready to start spending that kind of money they’d expense back to the NHL in the event of a cancellation.

What’s further, I’m not quite sure UofM would be too interested in nickel-and-diming the NHL, seeing as how they’d probably be very interested in getting the 2014 WC and the NHL continues to hold all the leverage.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/29/12 at 06:37 PM ET

TheRealYooper's avatar

Sad day in Hockey.

The hits just keep coming.

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 10/29/12 at 09:39 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

As Yooper said, the hits keep coming.  When I think about the sorely needed revenue that will be lost to S.E. Michigan by the cancellation of these events, not to mention the psychological boost that would have been experienced by sports fans in the area, well, there are no words to describe how I feel about the NHL right now.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/30/12 at 08:00 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

there are no words to describe how I feel about the NHL right now.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/30/12 at 08:00 AM ET

There are so many words that describe how I feel about the NHL right now but I dare not type them. T’would be much foul language, it would.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 10/30/12 at 08:12 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.