Winter Classic latest casualty of NHL lockout

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Winter Classic latest casualty of NHL lockout

The NHLs annual Winter Classic has become a wildly successful and popular New Years Day event. Now, its the latest casualty in this lockout.
The 2013 Winter Classic, which would have pit the Detroit Red Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium, was officially canceled on Friday afternoon. The Hockeytown Winter Festival, which was slated for Dec. 16-3 at Comerica Park in Detroit, was also canceled.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly, in a statement, said the logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today's decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time.
"We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events.
The league said the Winter Classic had to be canceled because theres still no new collective bargaining agreement and the league was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage events of this magnitude. More than 400,000 people, according to the league, wouldve likely been in the DetroitAnn Arbor area for the Hockeytown Festival and Winter Classic.
We look forward to bringing the next Winter Classic and the Hockeytown Winter Festival to Michigan, Daly added in the statement.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr called the leagues cancellation of the Classic unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners implementation of the lockout itself.
The fact that the season has not started is a result of a unilateral decision by the owners; the players have always been ready to play while continuing to negotiate in good faith, Fehrs statement continued. We look forward to the leagues return to the bargaining table, so that the parties can find a way to end the lockout at the earliest possible date, and get the game back on the ice for the fans.
Ticket refund information for either event is located at nhl.comwinterclassicrefund.
Its one more cancellation during a lockout thats seen a few of them already. The league has already canceled regular-season games through Nov. 30.

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The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 25 of 27 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.