(NEW YORK) — The National Hockey League has decided to cancel the Winter Classic, the league announced Friday.
The annual outdoor hockey game was supposed to see the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs go head to head at the University of Michigan’s football stadium in Ann Arbor on Jan. 1, 2013.
This was arguable the biggest blow to teams and fans alike since the lockout began six weeks ago. The Classic is viewed as a celebration of the game.
The lockout has already caused the cancellation of hundreds of games and tons of revenue loss.
“It’s definitely very disappointing,” Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said. “Not only was I looking forward to it but so were all my friends and family. It was going to be a great event not just for us but all the businesses and hotels and fans excited to see us and Toronto play.”
The cancellation of the game does not mean the entire season will be lost. Commissioner Gary Bettman has said on numerous occasions that although an entire 82-game season is no longer the possible, the two sides can still strike a deal to play a shortened season.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio.
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire