Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 7:23 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

McCabe's scoring touch extends a magical day

DETROIT -- Bryan McCabe hadn't scored a goal in a competitive game since he played for the New York Rangers during the 2010-11 season, his last in the NHL.

But on Tuesday, his goal with two seconds remaining sent the second game of the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park past regulation.

The Alumni Showdown was a big part of the festivities this week that will be capped by the 2014 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, which the Maple Leafs and Red Wings will play Wednesday in front of what is expected to be a record crowd at Michigan Stadium.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 7:06 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Detroit's Glendening shoots for outdoor doubleheader

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The New York Rangers will play two outdoor hockey games in four days next month, but Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening has a chance to do something no North American professional hockey player has ever done.

Glendening played Monday night for the defending American Hockey League champion Grand Rapids Griffins at Comerica Park against the Toronto Marlies as part of the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival. He was officially recalled Tuesday by the Red Wings, and he is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday when Detroit faces the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (1 p.m. ET: NBC, CBC, RDS).

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 5:36 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Bernier to start in goal for Maple Leafs

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Randy Carlyle didn't want to reveal his starting goalie for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, but there was a dead giveaway standing only a few feet away from the Toronto Maple Leafs coach during his post-practice press conference Tuesday.

Jonathan Bernier was waiting to talk to the media, but he also felt the need to wait until Carlyle left the press conference area before he confirmed that he'll be the Maple Leafs starter against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium on Wednesday.

"Let's wait until Randy leaves," Bernier said laughing. "Yeah, I found out before practice so obviously it's great. It's great that he gave me the nod and being part of this whole history, it's pretty amazing."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 4:50 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Red Wings hopeful Alfredsson will be a go

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Daniel Alfredsson skated with the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday at Michigan Stadium, one day after missing a game with back spasms and one day before the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Alfredsson joined his teammates on the ice for the an early afternoon workout, but left the stadium without speaking to reporters.

"I'm sure he'll wake up tomorrow morning and make a decision," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "He's got some spasms. It is nothing significant. Hopefully he feels better tomorrow and he's ready to go.

"We're hoping he's going to play."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 4:18 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Berenson excited for Red Wings' Glendening

DETROIT -- When the Detroit Red Wings revealed Tuesday they had called up forward Luke Glendening one day before the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, few people were more excited for the 24-year-old than his former coach at the University of Michigan, Red Berenson.

"Luke is a tremendous kid. They've brought him up and down and he's played 16 games for the Wings," Berenson said. "He's a role player, he knows his role. He's excited to be there. I'm excited for him."

After playing Monday at Comerica Park for the Grand Rapids Griffins in an American Hockey League game against the Toronto Marlies, Glendening is now poised to play in his second outdoor game in three days. It's an interesting turn for a player who played in three outdoor games as a Michigan Wolverine.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 4:09 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Older players impress at alumni game

DETROIT -- Most of the former members of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs who participated in the first of two alumni games Tuesday at Comerica Park aren't that far removed from their glory days. A number of them, like Detroit's Mathieu Schneider and Aaron Ward or Toronto's David Reid and Cory Cross were still in the NHL just a few years ago and were in their 40s when they took the ice the day before the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Those players only a few years removed from their time in the League were particularly impressed by the performances from the older players participating in the alumni game.

Doug Favell, 68, started in net for the Maple Leafs alumni and occasionally showed impressive flashes of quickness. In perhaps the game's most surreal moment, Detroit opened the scoring when Favell allowed a goal by defenseman Jiri Fischer, who retired prematurely due to a heart condition and is 35 years Favell's junior.

"That was awesome, seeing Doug out there with the pads," Maple Leafs goaltender Peter Ing said. "I thought someone would lob one at the net, but the first one was a heater. I felt for him."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 3:14 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Red Wings' Miller sees irony in locker room placement

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Drew Miller spent three years as a player at Michigan State University. His brother, Ryan, was also a Spartan and one of the school’s two Hobey Baker Award winners.

Miller and fellow Michigan State alum Justin Abdelkader are in an interesting position this week as their Detroit Red Wings prepare for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday at Michigan Stadium against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He was in a really interesting position Tuesday when the Red Wings practiced at the Big House. Detroit is using the Michigan football locker room, and Miller is using one of the lockers that honors some of the great Wolverines players in program history.

"It is one of the legends ones or whatever, Desmond Howard," Miller said. "I guess it was just by chance of how the numbers went in order around the room. We were on the Fathers' Trip when I got a text from one of the equipment guys who stayed back here and he showed me a picture of it on the text.

"I said, 'Burn the stall and put me in a folding chair.' I'm just joking. It is a situation where you put all that rivalry stuff aside and make the most of it. It is such an unique situation. You put all that other stuff aside."

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Marquee names expected for alumni doubleheader

DETROIT -- With so many former Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings players looking to participate in the 2013 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown, preceding the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, fans will be treated to a rare doubleheader. Comerica Park will host back-to-back alumni games Tuesday, with each game featuring a variety of notable names from Red Wings and Maple Leafs history.

In the first game at 1:25 p.m., Detroit will be represented by a number of names from the recent past. Among them will be forwards Martin Lapointe, Pat Verbeek, Mike Sillinger and Petr Klima. The defense for the Red Wings will be bolstered by several Stanley Cup winners, including Steve Duchesne, Aaron Ward, Mathieu Schneider and Mathieu Dandenault. In a unique twist to the game, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who played three games with Detroit during the 1983-84 season, is expected to appear in net alongside Kevin Hodson and Eddie Mio.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 12:32 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Record number of tickets sold to 2014 Winter Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said Tuesday that the League has sold a record 105,500 tickets to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The League expects to set a record for attendance at a hockey game Wednesday when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs square off at Michigan Stadium.

The current attendance record for a hockey game is 104,173, which was set at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 11, 2010 for The Big Chill at the Big House. A representative from Guinness World Records will be on hand Wednesday to verify the attendance at the Winter Classic to determine if the NHL beats The Big Chill record for attendance.

The tickets sold would suggest the NHL will break the record, but Collins is not ready to say that for sure.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 11:44 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Ice crew handles fresh snow, prepares for even more

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After a couple of days with balmy temperatures and then one a little cooler, it was definitely colder and windier Tuesday morning at Michigan Stadium as NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig's crew continued to put the final touches on the ice for the Bridgestone 2014 NHL Winter Classic.

There was also a fresh coat of snow through the night leading into Tuesday morning, but Craig said that wasn't an issue.

"No, we've dealt with snow before," Craig said. "It just took like a four-degree drop between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. That's what threw us a little. We had the heaters set on a certain stage and we needed a little more juice the first thing this morning. Other than that, we're pretty good right now."

The weather forecast for the game Wednesday between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs has changed in the past 24 hours or so. It's possible more snow will fall than originally expected. It is not expected to be as windy Wednesday as it was Tuesday morning.

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