After months of speculation, we’re only a day away from things being official: The Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium in the 2013 NHL Winter Classic.
The NHL has scheduled an announcement for tomorrow at Comerica Park in Detroit, which will continue at Michigan Stadium. As such, a lot of “unoffical” yet highly specific news has been breaking all day.
The 2013 edition of the Winter Classic will involve two Michigan cities and at least twelve teams at four levels of both professional and amateur hockey. Leading up to the Red Wings – Maple Leafs matchup in Ann Arbor, a series of games will be played on a second rink at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
A matchup between the Wings’ and Leafs’ AHL affiliates will occur as the Grand Rapids Griffins host the Toronto Marlies. A series of Ontario Hockey League games will take place between the Plymouth Whalers, Windsor Spitfires, Saginaw Spirit and London Knights. The entire Great Lakes Invitational – usually hosted at Joe Louis Arena – will be played outdoors between the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Northern Michigan University and Western Michigan University.
Additionally, a game featuring Red Wings and Maple Leafs alumni is expected to be played at Comerica Park, as well as high school and youth hockey events.