2013 NHL Winter Classic: Detroit Red Wings to Host the Toronto Maple Leafs

Robert StockleyContributor IIIFebruary 8, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 7: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores on Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings during a penalty shot during NHL action at The Air Canada Centre January 7, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

The 2013 NHL Winter Classic has been confirmed to feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs in Detroit, Michigan.

This report was confirmed today by TSN, after much speculation that these two original six teams would face off in the outdoor game.

However, there will be a few minor changes to the Winter Classic in 2013.

The event is expected to last at least one week. The NHL has decided to include events throughout the week at Comerica Park, the home of the MLB Detroit Tigers.

The events hosted at Comerica Park include:

  • Two NCAA games as part of the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament
  • An AHL regular season game featuring the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Toronto Marlies, who are the AHL affiliates of the Red Wings and the Leafs
  • Two regular season OHL games, featuring the Plymouth Whalers vs. the London Knights and the Saginaw Spirit vs. the Windsor Spitfires
  • High school and youth games will also take place throughout the week
  • The Red Wings and Maple Leafs alumni game 

The Red Wings and the Maple Leafs will be playing the Winter Classic on January 1st, 2013 in Detroit's largest sporting venue—The Big House. The Big House is located at the University of Michigan, and is one of the largest sporting venues in the United States.

On December 11, 2010, The Big House attracted a record crowd of 104,173 for an outdoor game.

Expect the 2013 Winter Classic to surpass that record due to the history between these two NHL franchises.

The NHL is expected to make a formal announcement of the event on Thursday, February 9th in Detroit. The first announcement will be made from Comerica Park at 10:30am ET, and a second announcement will be made at Michigan Stadium at 1:15pm ET.

The announcement will feature NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and multiple representatives from both the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Expect one of the best 2013 NHL Winter Classics to date, with a much-anticipated tilt between the Leafs and Red Wings.