The Hockeytown Winter Festival and NHL Winter Classic


The 2013-14 hockey season promises to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. As if the formation of the Big Ten Conference and the NHL realignment moving the Red Wings to the East weren’t enough, the State of Michigan finally gets the outdoor hockey we were promised 18 months ago.

When the Hockeytown Winter Festival and the Winter Classic come to town, MiHockey will be a leader in the coverage of the multiple outdoor events. From the youth games at Comerica, all the way to the historic game between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs at the Big House, MiHockey will be there, covering it all for and MiHockeyMag. Articles, photos, videos, tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos and videos – you name it, we will be doing it. While we are the main media outlet for hockey of all ages in Michigan, we’re also fans – and we can’t wait to be part of a historic winter for our sport.

From now until January (and probably longer), we will be all over the outdoor hockey events taking place in our state. By the middle of December, a hockey rink will cover the field at Comerica Park in Detroit, welcoming youth and high school players to the ice before the big boys take center stage. On Dec. 27, the Great Lakes Invitational takes over, with four Michigan schools – Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan and Michigan Tech, competing in an outdoor element.

After the two days of the Great Lakes Invitational, the Ontario Hockey League Doubleheader takes place, marking the first outdoor games for the major junior league. On Dec. 29, the Saginaw Spirit will take on the Windsor Spitfires, and the Plymouth Whalers take on the London Knights.

Then, in a fitting preview for the game coming to the Big House in Ann Arbor, the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate takes on the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, with the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies squaring off on Dec. 30.

And finally – at least for the events at Comerica Park – Red Wings and Maple Leafs alums will take part in the Alumni Showdown, a pair of games to be played on Dec. 31.

The nine historic games taking place at Comerica Park all serve as build-up for another historic match, when two Original Six foes do battle in front of what is expected to be a record-setting crowd. The Red Wings and Maple Leafs will play the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, in a game that should set a new attendance record for hockey.

We hope you are excited. We certainly are.

2013-14 Outdoor Hockey Schedule

Photo by Dave Reginek/DRW

December 27 – Great Lakes Invitational (Day 1)

3:30 p.m. – Michigan State vs. Michigan Tech

7:00 p.m. – Western Michigan vs. Michigan

December 28 – Great Lakes Invitational (Day 2)

3:30 p.m. – Consolation Game

7:00 p.m. – Championship Game

December 29 – Ontario Hockey League Doubleheader

1:30 p.m. – Windsor Spitfires vs. Saginaw Spirit

5:00 p.m. – London Knights vs. Plymouth Whalers

December 30 – American Hockey League

5:00 p.m. – Toronto Marlies vs. Grand Rapids Griffins

December 31 – Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown

1:00 p.m. – Maple Leafs Alumni vs. Red Wings Alumni

3:30 p.m. – Maple Leafs Alumni vs. Red Wings Alumni

January 1 – 2014 NHL Winter Classic

1:00 p.m. – Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings

Outdoor Hockey Headlines

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

Red Wings practice outside at Detroit’s Comerica Park

As Pavel Datsyuk said, “Move fast or you’ll be frozen.” That’s not an issue for normal Detroit Red Wings practices, but for… read more

Times, musical acts announced for Winter Festival’s Coke Zero Fan Zone

The Red Wings announced today the official times and entertainment line-up for the Coke Zero Fan Zone. The Fan Zone, free to fans with… read more

Rochester United and Stoney Creek kick off high school battles at Comerica Park

The first-ever high school hockey game to be played outdoors at Comerica Park as part of the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival featured… read more

Red Wings, NHL team up to help Clark Park’s outdoor rink

The National Hockey League, Detroit Red Wings Foundation and members of the Red Wings team were on-hand Monday afternoon at Clark… read more

Tomas Holmstrom talks outdoor hockey

Sure, Tomas Holmstrom played hockey outdoors as a kid growing up in Piteå, Sweden. But retired now at 40 years old, he never… read more

Ice construction can now begin at Michigan Stadium

The 2014 NHL Winter Classic ice truck showed up at The Big House Thursday afternoon after a two-day trip that began in Oakville, Ontario…. read more

Steve Yzerman commits to Alumni Showdown

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Dec. 10 that longtime captain Steve Yzerman has committed to attend the Hockeytown Winter Festival… read more

NHL announces free fan festival outside of Big House on Jan. 1

The NHL announced on Dec. 10 that they, along with the City of Ann Arbor, will host a fan festival outside the gates of Michigan Stadium… read more

HBO 24/7 will take fans inside Hockeytown

The crew at HBO Sports will practically be living with the Detroit Red Wings organization throughout the month of December to film their latest… read more

Red Wings announce full list of activities for Hockeytown Winter Festival

The Red Wings announced today a complete list of the on-ice activities taking place at Comerica Park during the Hockeytown Winter Festival… read more

Fox Sports Detroit announces TV plans for Winter Festival, Winter Classic

Fox Sports Detroit announced today that they will televise seven games during the Hockeytown Winter Festival, and that they will deliver postgame coverage of the Winter Classic… read more

Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment announce Coke Zero Fan Zone for Winter Festival

Going to one of the outdoor games at CoPa this December for the Hockeytown Winter Festival? There will be plenty for you to do… read more

Red Wings/NHL provide updates on Winter Classic, Hockeytown Winter Festival

The National Hockey League held a press conference prior to the Red Wings’ Nov. 19 home game with the… read more

Ann Arbor to host “The Puck Drops Here” New Year’s Eve event

The Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced that they will hold a New Year’s Eve street party in downtown Ann Arbor… read more

Nicklas Lidstrom commits to Red Wings’ Alumni Showdown roster; see full list of participants

The Red Wings announced today that former captain Nicklas Lidstrom will return to Detroit to play for the Red Wings in the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park, part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival that runs through the last two weeks of December… read more

NHL announces items that won’t be allowed at the Winter Classic

The NHL announced today a list of items that will not be allowed inside Michigan Stadium for the 2014 NHL Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. Considering the game’s happening in our backyard, you should probably take a peek at the list, because we’re hoping as many of you can join us at the Big House as possible… read more

Special DElivery: Top 10 reasons for hockey hype in Michigan

With training camps right around the corner there are plenty of reasons to anticipate the upcoming hockey season. Here is Darren Eliot’s ‘Top 10′ list of players, events and developments to get enthused about… read more

Griffins announce home opener, outdoor game date, NYE game, more

Just eight days after they captured the Calder Cup for the first time in franchise history, the Grand Rapids Griffins revealed a first look at their 2013-14 season – including information about their outdoor game as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival… read more

Saginaw Spirit formally announce OHL doubleheader for Hockeytown Winter Festival

More long-awaited details about next winter’s outdoor hockey continue to emerge; this time, it’s confirmation that Michigan’s Ontario Hockey League teams will be skating at Comerica Park next December… read more

The Winter Classic will stay with Hockeytown

Everything the state of Michigan was promised will return later this year.

After the NHL lockout prevented Hockeytown from a historic few weeks of outdoor hockey at Comerica Park and Michigan Stadium, the league confirmed today that all the activities will take place next season.

The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will feature the Detroit Red Wings taking on Original 6 rival and future division opponent Toronto at the Big House in Ann Arbor. The opening face-off for what is expected to be a record-breaking hockey game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2014… read more

The Red Wings games we’re circling on the calendar for 2013-14

The Red Wings’ 2013-14 schedule was released on July 19. Here are some of the games we’re especially excited for next fall… read more

NHL officially announces that the Winter Classic is coming to Michigan

The NHL confirmed on April 7 that the 2014 Winter Classic will be played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on January 1, featuring the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The league also stated that the Hockeytown Winter Festival will take place at Comerica Park in Detroit… read more

Red Wings announce two alumni games for Hockeytown Winter Festival (from 2012)

Red Wings GM Ken Holland announced Wednesday at Comerica Park that there will, in fact, be two alumni games played at the home of the MLB’s Detroit Tigers in late December, simply because it was necessary with all the history between two of the NHL’s most storied franchises… read more

NHL Winter Classic officially coming to Hockeytown (from 2012)

DETROIT – It’s been speculated and discussed for weeks – if not months. But today, the National Hockey League made it official; the Winter Classic is coming to Michigan.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the 2013 NHL Winter Classic will be played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, and a second ice rink will be constructed at Comerica Park in Detroit for the inaugural Hockeytown Winter Festival… read more

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