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The NHL Alumni Showdown coaches were named on July 26, 2012. Former Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman along with assistant Barry Smith were to coach the Red Wings' alumni team. The pair of Bowman and Smith coached three Stanley Cup wins in Detroit. Former Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn was to coach the Maple Leafs' alumni team, along with Red Kelly, Hall of Fame player and former Maple Leafs' coach.3
Cancellation and postponement
On November 2, 2012, the NHL cancelled the game due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout.4 The date for the cancellation came as a result of a deadline in the league's contract with Michigan Stadium, in which the league would have incurred additional expenses if they cancelled after November 2.56 During the announcement, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated that the 2014 Winter Classic and associated events would be awarded to Ann Arbor and Detroit and would also feature the Maple Leafs and Red Wings.4 The NHL then officially announced the game on April 7, 2013.1
The event will be the first Winter Classic to hold events in two locations. The Winter Classic game itself will be held at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the highest capacity non-motorsports stadium in North America. Another rink is to be constructed at Comerica Park in Detroit and will host the Hockeytown Winter Festival and the NHL Alumni Showdown. The Winter Classic game itself marks the first time a stadium dedicated solely to college football would have hosted the Winter Classic (all five previous events were held at Major League Baseball and National Football League stadiums; Heinz Field, the site of the 2011 classic, hosts both college and professional football). The game will return to its customary January 1 date after being played on January 2 in 2012.
The Red Wings-Maple Leafs matchup, an Original Six era rivalry, is the first time an American team and a Canadian team have faced each other in an outdoor NHL game and the first time a Canadian team has played in the Winter Classic (prior to this, the Winter Classic was reserved for American teams and the Heritage Classic for Canadian ones). Because of a divisional realignment that took effect during the preceding offseason, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs are also now division rivals; both teams were placed in the newly reformed Atlantic Division.