Who will host the next Winter Classic?

Updated: January 5, 2012, 4:56 PM ET
By Craig Custance

PHILADELPHIA -- The Detroit Red Wings have emerged as the lock to host the next Winter Classic, but it's certainly not from a lack of options. Every NHL team has expressed interest in either hosting or playing in the game, and the interest extends beyond NHL cities.

"Every club has been in touch with the commish," NHL COO John Collins said. "There have been a number of neutral sites, non-NHL markets who have proposed a vision for what they think the game could be. Right now our focus is on trying to maximize it for us, for our clubs."

With that in mind, here's a look at 10 candidates to host Winter Classic games next year and beyond:

1. Detroit -- It's been three years since a Western Conference team has hosted the game, which makes Detroit a natural to host next season. The biggest decision left is the venue. The appeal of breaking attendance records and hosting an NHL game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor is a strong pull, but Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch owns Comerica Park and is one of the strong proponents of promoting downtown Detroit. As we learned with realignment, Ilitch has a lot of pull in the league, and Collins said the NHL works hard to accommodate the desires of the host team even though it's a league event.