Winter Classic Not Immediately Affected By Potential NHL Lockout

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

An NHL lockout wouldn't necessarily mean the immediate cancellation of the Winter Classic, according to a report.

The NHL may be on verge of a lockout beginning on Sept. 15, but it wouldn't necessarily mean an immediate cancellation of the 2013 Winter Classic. That game -- between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs -- is scheduled to be held at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1. According to the New York Times, a clause in the NHL's contract stipulates that the league can announce a cancellation of the game as late as the day of, which would allow the NHL to put the game on even if the lockout was resolved in mid-to-late December.

According to the NYT, many around the league see the lucrative Winter Classic as the ultimate impetus for the league and the union to strike a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement. If the NHL did cancel the Winter Classic, it would only be on the hook for $100,000 of the $3 million stadium rental fee.

For all the news surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and the ongoing quest to replace it, stick with this StoryStream.

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