Reports from multiple sources say that the Toronto Maple Leafs will travel to Michigan to play the Detroit Red Wings in next season's outdoor 2013 Winter Classic.
Multiple Detroit newspapers and the Toronto Star cite 'sources' in saying that the game is a done deal. It would be played at the 109,000 plus seat Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, 2013.
NHL Winter Classic: Traditionally American
The Winter Classic to date has always been between two American teams; it began in 2008 and has been held in Buffalo, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. While Toronto and Detroit are traditional rivals and have been for decades, there is already speculation that fans, in particular American TV viewers, will not be excited about seeing a Canadian team in the Winter Classic mix.
While Detroit played in the 2nd Winter Classic in 2009, and beat the Blackhawks at Chicago's Wrigley Field, 6-4, Toronto has not played in an outdoor NHL outdoor game. The two outdoor NHL games played in Canada, the Heritage Classics, took place in Edmonton in 2003 when Montreal defeated the Oilers 4-3 and in 2011 when the Flames beat Montreal, 4-0, in Calgary.
The NHL will announce the line-up for the game when the Wings have finalized the agreement with Michigan Stadium, possibly as late as the first or second week of February, the cited sources said.