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Even more Red Wings Winter Classic talk

Update: Reuters posted a Winter Classic spiel, and the Maple Leafs are entering the mix as a “we want to be part of one” club: I’m somewhat surprised that the media’s all but assuring that the Red Wings will host the 2013 Winter Classic when the NHL really doesn’t have to make up its mind about its next venue until early September, but Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski’s the latest to suggest that Red Wings/Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson’s presence at the Flyers’ Winter Classic equals no doubt whatsoever as to anything but the details of game in Detroit or Ann Arbor. Wyshynski delves into the possibilities related to a Detroit Winter Classic:

Winter Classic 2013: Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs/St. Louis Blues/California-Based Team: The NHL is keen on having this game at The Big House in Ann Arbor, with the probability of attracting over 100,000 fans to a game if the tickets are priced favorably. But having it at the University of Michigan’s stadium means sharing the wealth with someone outside the family.

Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, meanwhile, is in the family. He also owns and operates Comerica Park, home to the Detroit Tigers. So if it’s not in the Big House, it’ll be at that house.

There’s also a chance for the NHL to turn this into a celebration of hockey in Michigan, with the Great Lakes Invitational rolling the week before the Classic.

As far as opponents go, I get the feeling this is going to be a mold-breaker after three straight Classics featuring predictable Northeast rivalries. The Maple Leafs would be the first Canadian team in the Classic, which would risk some ratings for NBC but would fulfill the NHL’s Original Six jones for this annual event. The more people I talk to, the more think this is a good possibility — especially to quiet Canadian critics writhing with jealousy over the Winter Classic being U.S.-centric.

This would also be a great spot to feature a team from California for the first time: The San Jose Sharks are a natural rival and a good fit here. Joe Thornton on “HBO 24/7” can only be a good thing.

(An aside: The “24/7” Effect is overrated, insofar as setting the matchups in these games. The network told me that they don’t have sway over the teams involved; and, frankly, that the future of the series isn’t exactly set in concrete after this season. More on that on Wednesday on Puck Daddy.)

Then there are the St. Louis Blues. A safe choice as a division rival and a cold-weather U.S. market. And as we know, you have to play on the road before you get one of these at home.

Continued, and Wyshynski believes that the Wings might play in Colorado when the Avs eventually host an outdoor tilt somewhere down the line…

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Comments

Leo_Racicot's avatar

For those who are stating that the Big House is “outside the family” with regards to the Illitch empire, put on the breaks:

http://www.regents.umich.edu/about/bios/Ilitch.html

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 01/03/12 at 02:46 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Thanks, Leo.  So right.

I vote for the Leafs, mostly because it would be possible for fans of both teams to attend.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if Bettman wants San Jose, figuring they might actually win.  (But we know better.)

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/03/12 at 02:57 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I’ve been planning to move back to Detroit, and tentatively hope to leave Atlanta behind by the summer sometime. This would truly be a nice “Welcome Home” gift from the NHL, should this come to pass… and all the pieces fall into the right places on my end, of course.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/03/12 at 03:17 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

The thought of Wings VS Leafs @ The Big House is enough to get me all aquiver.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/03/12 at 04:14 PM ET

SYF's avatar

The thought of Wings VS Leafs @ The Big House is enough to get me all aquiver.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/03/12 at 02:14 PM ET

I get perky nipples.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 01/03/12 at 04:19 PM ET

Avatar

The thought of Wings VS Leafs @ The Big House is enough to get me all a quiver.

  Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/03/12 at 02:14 PM ET

I get perky nipples.

Posted by SYF from “Balls Hill” on 01/03/12 at 02:19 PM ET

+2 Lol.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 01/03/12 at 04:42 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

I get perky nipples.
Posted by SYF from “Balls Hill” on 01/03/12 at 02:19 PM ET

Aren’t you also the one with the sexy liver?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 01/03/12 at 05:16 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Aren’t you also the one with the sexy liver?

Posted by 42jeff from Minot, North Dakota on 01/03/12 at 03:16 PM ET

That would be ITDeuce.  His liver is 17 cubed on the Abdelkader scale.  No one beats that.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 01/03/12 at 05:25 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Wait…so you guys aren’t outraged that the Wings are going to get a second Winter Classic game before so many other teams even get a first?  Because…there was a ton of Wing fan outrage at the Pens playing in a second…

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 01/04/12 at 01:30 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

I’m still really, really confused by the whole “Canadian Team in Winter Classic = Sh*tty Ratings” concept.

The 2012 Summer Olympics would still be semi-fresh in peoples’ minds, and you could channel a US/Canada battle. Doesn’t seem like a ratings killer to me. Beyond that, with the irregularity of the “Heritage Classic” and the modern game having been born in Canada, I think it’s damn near shameful to shun them from the Winter Classic.

@Flashtastick There was also a ton of rage that Philly played twice in three years. It’s not about the hate we have for your beloved Penguins, it’s the hate we have for Gary Bettman.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 01/04/12 at 03:33 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.