Friday, November 2, 2012
Reaction to Winter Classic being canceled
By Craig Custance and ESPN.com staff
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr (from NHLPA statement):
"The NHL’s decision to cancel the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is 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. We look forward to the league's 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."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly (from NHL statement):
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."
"We look forward to bringing the next Winter Classic and the Hockeytown Winter Festival to Michigan.”
Wings' d-man Niklas Kronwall:
"That's one of those things that you were really looking forward to this year. Everyone here, not only the players but the fans. Everyone would be bummed out."
"I don't know if they're trying to send a message or what. I don't even know if they decide to cancel it, can they put it back on if we do come to an agreement? I think there's a lot of speculating."
Suburban Detroit native Cam Fowler:
"It's just a shame for the game. You definitely feel for the city because of the opportunity it presents and how exciting it can be for the fans. You feel for them. It hurts the game."
"It's disappointing. You have friends that were saving up just to go to that game. It's such a spectacle for the city. You feel for them. Everyone looks forward to it -- the snow is falling, the holidays. It's awesome what it can produce for the city and the fans. You just kind of feel for them."
Wings' goalie Jimmy Howard:
"It's definitely very disappointing. 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."
Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi (from Detroit Free Press):
"I think the whole thing is tough for everyone. But this was a focal point for our team and for Toronto, and for our fans."
"I know that my kid's team was playing, too, at Comerica, and then you had the alumni game, which was going to be superb with the amount of talent that both teams had. I think it's a big loss."
"I've always wanted to play in one. I'd love the experience. In talking with all the guys when they played in Chicago, they said it was an outstanding atmosphere."
Wings forward Johan Franzen (from Detroit Free Press):
"It was something we were looking forward to doing this year, but if it's not going to happen, it's not going to happen. But hopefully, we might get a carryover to next year. Hopefully, we can get it then."
President and C.O.O. of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Tom Anselmi (from Leafs statement):
“We want to thank Maple Leafs fans for their support, patience and understanding during CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA. We know our fans were excited to see this historic Original Six outdoor encounter in a couple of months and we are disappointed for them. However, we know that the NHL remains committed to achieving an agreement that is fair for the players and the member clubs, and one that will be good for the fans and our game.”
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon:
“This is an unfortunate announcement but one that looked imminent given the current labor situation between the NHL and its players. We knew this was a possibility, but we stayed prepared in the event the labor dispute would get resolved.”
“Our relationship with the NHL has been terrific. Both parties have a mutual interest in making the Winter Classic a successful and historical event. We are glad they committed to bring the next game to the Big House, matching the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.”