Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Custance: Wings still most likely choice as next Winter Classic host

ESPN’s Craig Custance breaks down ten potential Winter Classic destinations, and while the ESPN Insider blog is one of those things I can’t share in its entirety, here’s what he says about the #1 choice as of January 2nd, 2011:

The Detroit Red Wings have emerged as the lock to host the next Winter Classic but it’s certainly not from a lack of options. Every NHL team has expressed interest in either hosting or playing in the game and the interest extends beyond NHL cities.

“Every club has been in touch with the commish,” said NHL COO John Collins.“There have been a number of neutral sites, non-NHL markets who have proposed a vision for what they think the game could be. Right now our focus is on trying to maximize it for us, for our clubs.”

...1. Detroit—It’s been since 2009 that a Western Conference team has hosted the game, which makes the Red Wings a natural to host next season. The biggest decision left is the venue. The appeal of breaking attendance records and hosting an NHL game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor is a strong pull but Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch owns Comerica Park and is one of the strong proponents of promoting downtown Detroit. As we learned with re—alignment, Ilitch has a lot of pull in the league and Collins said the NHL works hard to accommodate the desires of the host team even though it’s a league event.

“We always work with the host club and listen to what they really want to accomplish with the event,” Collins said.“It’s become an important event for the community. It drives a lot of economic impact. You’re coming into someone’s home market. You want to be respectful with what they’re trying to accomplish.” Both the Blackhawks and Maple Leafs are interested in being Detroit’s opponent next year and the potential of drawing from the passionate Toronto fanbase, one that would surely travel en masse for this game, has to appeal to the league.

Continued (registration required, sorry)

>Update: USA Today’s Kevin Allen reports that Ilitch Holdings guru Tom Wilson is attending the game.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Wouldn’t the LA Kings be a good fit? Not a traditional market, but getting the LA market to tune in and really take note of hockey (especially when it seems like the Lakers are going to be on a downswing) wouldn’t be the worst thing. Plus with Kopitar, Doughty, and company, you could do worse when it comes to star power.

Posted by Guy who isn't registered from Somewhereovertherainbow on 01/02/12 at 06:33 PM ET

hitsomebody's avatar

Detroit-Toronto would be the best situation.  Original 6, old Norris rivals, half of Canada just down the 401, Why is this not already announced?

Posted by hitsomebody on 01/02/12 at 07:06 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

How about Chicago, especially if it’s played in Ann Arbor?

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/02/12 at 08:24 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

NBC would lose half their ratings with a Canadian team, or so the traditional reasoning goes. How about Columbus if it is in Ann Arbor?

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/02/12 at 09:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I think NBC’s ratings nationwide would be higher for Detroit/Toronto than they would be for Detroit/Columbus

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/02/12 at 09:04 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

My biggest hope is that next year’s Classic involves a team from Pennsylvania again.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/02/12 at 09:10 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

On a serious note, what about the Wings hosting St. Louis?  Little brother has finally grown some fangs, should make for good tv.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/02/12 at 09:14 PM ET

Avatar

How about Chicago, especially if it’s played in Ann Arbor?

I wouldn’t be against this, but I doubt the NHL would necessarily want to have a repeat of a previous WC matchup this early in the event’s history.

Posted by Garth on 01/02/12 at 09:20 PM ET

Chet's avatar

LA does not deserve a winter classic. the fans here are mostly fairweather and indifferent. not all, but many. and lookie look, as of today LA is leading the pacific by being 19-14-6.

worst division in hockey!

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 01/02/12 at 09:31 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

“ESPN Insider.”  Its laughable that they want you to pay for their shoddy coverage.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/02/12 at 09:38 PM ET

Chet's avatar

agree to agree,  bezukov.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 01/02/12 at 09:40 PM ET

SYF's avatar

agree to agree,  bezukov.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 01/02/12 at 07:40 PM ET

Agree.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 01/02/12 at 09:43 PM ET

DocF's avatar

The long tradition of Detroit and Toronto makes that the best possible matchup.  Even today, with very few games between them these teams detest each other. 

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 01/02/12 at 09:50 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

If Detroit hosts the Winter Classic in 2013 (or whenever), you have to figure the opponent will be from the Western Conference. My money is on Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, or Colorado. No way Columbus gets the nod while they suck so badly.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 01/02/12 at 09:58 PM ET

Avatar

If Detroit hosts the Winter Classic in 2013 (or whenever), you have to figure the opponent will be from the Western Conference.

Why?

Posted by Garth on 01/02/12 at 10:17 PM ET

Avatar

The long tradition of Detroit and Toronto makes that the best possible matchup.

Also, Toronto is one of two teams (the other being Montreal, mainly if they played the Bruins) that would probably be acceptable to the NHL/NBC.

Posted by Garth on 01/02/12 at 10:19 PM ET

Chet's avatar

DET/TOR is a pretty awesome matchup, esp. if the leafs keep improving.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 01/02/12 at 10:28 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s not that LA doesn’t “deserve” a game or anywhere west of the Central Time Zone doesn’t “deserve” a game—last week NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins was blunt in saying that the NHL doesn’t really want to start the game after 1 PM EST unless they have to, which pretty much rules out a game on the West Coast or even the Mountain Time Zone for the immediate future.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/02/12 at 10:49 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

everyone’s losing focus of the real goal here, breaking the hockey game attendence record.  get with it folks.

Det/Tor in the Big House, jammed packed.  I’m watching that come hell or high water, also gives more opportunity for more people to view the game.  With over 100,000 seats they’re bound to have some ones I could afford.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/02/12 at 11:41 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

Why?

Look at all the previous Winter Classic Matchups. All are teams within the same conference, which is clearly done to cash in on rivalries.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 01/03/12 at 12:56 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Det/Tor in the Big House, jammed packed.  I’m watching that come hell or high water, also gives more opportunity for more people to view the game.  With over 100,000 seats they’re bound to have some ones I could afford.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/02/12 at 09:41 PM ET

This.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/03/12 at 02:09 AM ET

Avatar

wings-avs alumni game….

Posted by Pat on 01/03/12 at 06:39 AM ET

Avatar

BTW, don’t forget that there won’t *be* a Western Conference next season with the realignment.

Posted by RyanVM on 01/03/12 at 12:48 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

BTW, don’t forget that there won’t *be* a Western Conference next season with the realignment.

Nonetheless, the league seems intent on building upon “rivalries”. Do i agree with this, necessarily? No.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 01/03/12 at 08:54 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.