The NHL's annual Winter Classic, played on New Year's Day, could be cancelled in November if the lockout is not resolved by then. Kevin Gran of the Toronto Star reports that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman plans to use the game as leverage in negotiations:
"Gary told (the board of governors) he was going to cancel the Winter Classic in November because he didn't want the players to use the game as leverage," the source said.
A source close to the players said the NHLPA had heard the same thing.
"It's a scare tactic," the union source said. "It just proves the NHL has no intention of negotiating any time soon."
The Detroit Red Wings are scheduled to play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. Previous reports indicated that the game was one hopeful sign the lockout could be resolved because of its importance to the league itself, the players and the fans.