Imagine that stadium filled to the brim with 115,000 hockey fans, with at least half adorned in Maple Leafs Blue and White. It appears to be more than just fantasy as reports suggest that last night Bob McKenzie all but confirmed the 2013 Winter Classic will feature the Red Wings and Maple Leafs in Michigan Stadium. We still need an official announcement before we begin preparations for our trip to Ann Arbor on the first (or second) day of 2013, but Ron Wilson also hinted heavily at the possibility in a TSN1050 interview yesterday.
This would also mean, should the league ask the organizations to take part, an HBO 24/7 series featuring the Maple Leafs in
what would be a truly special opportunity to get to know the players and coaches’ personalities, gain insights on the dressing room dynamics and day-to-day operations of the hockey club, and find out who has the best chirping game on the ice (good money is on Armdog, if healthy). Basically, crystal meth for Leafs junkies.
I didn’t think this was a real possibility until lately, and always viewed the Winter Classic spectacle as something the NHL geared towards casual and non hockey fans in American markets. I wouldn’t have thought its biggest market in Toronto, let alone two of its biggest in Toronto and Detroit, would’ve been on the radar. But if they want to fill a stadium 115,000 large, they came to the right fan base. I’ll be ecstatic with the decision if true and think it could be great for the growth of the game. Just watch how Leafs Nation hypes this one.