Winter Classic 2013: Original Six Matchup at the Big House

Ryan GuillemetteCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02:  The Philadelphia Flyers take on the New York Rangers during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

According to ESPN, the NHL has almost completed the deal for next year's Winter Classic, which may be the biggest and best Winter Classic yet.  

The 2013 Winter Classic will be between two Original Six teams, the Detroit Red Wings and a long awaited Canadian team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, which will be held at the Big House in Ann Arbor—home of the Michigan Wolverines.  

The Big House is the largest college stadium in the country and seats 110,000-plus fans.  

The setting is perfect for this matchup with an ideal location that will bring business to a struggling city. 

The league is also proposing building a second rink in Comerica Park, which is the home to Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers.  

Sources say that this Winter Classic will include brand new events that would be held in downtown Detroit, which already hosts the annual Great Lakes Invitational—a college tournament including Michigan, Michigan State and other top colleges.  

Many fans have wanted a Canadian team in the matchup, but this was unsure due to the Heritage Classic, which featured two Canadian teams outdoors, whereas the Winter Classic only included American teams.  

Now that this barrier has been broken, it opens the door for future matchups and will make for some great coverage with the widespread popularity of HBO's "24/7: Road to the Winter Classic." 

This Original Six matchup will benefit everyone, and should make for one of the most memorable Winter Classics ever.