With the National Hockey League facing the possibility of a lockout in the coming weeks, the Detroit Red Wings officially cancelled their 2012 prospect tournament on Thursday, less than a month before its Sept. 15 start date.
Beginning as a prospect showcase after Detroit's Stanley Cup-winning campaign in 1997, the tournament has featured the best young players from as many as six other organizations (the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers), but the prospect of a lockout if the league and the players' union cannot agree on a new collective bargaining agreement led the Red Wings to cancel the tournament for the first time in the event's 15-year history. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he was disappointed, not only for fans in the tournament's host city of Traverse City, Mich., but for the fans of all the other organizations involved.
"Due to the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement and the advance commitments required from the various parties including hotels, airlines, teams, players and their families, etc. we have determined that it is in everyone’s best interest to cancel this year’s tournament," Holland said Thursday.
"The Red Wings and the seven other NHL teams that were scheduled to participate are committed to returning to Traverse City in 2013 and continuing with this tremendous tournament."