Leafs, Wings alumni to clash twice
Games part of the 2012 Hockey Winter Festival
TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Members of the Maple Leafs alumni Jim McKenny (left to right), Kevin Maguire and Wendel Clark pose with members of Red Wings alumni Dino Ciccarelli, Joe Kocur and Alex Delvecchio at Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich., July 11, 2012. (REBECCA COOK/Reuters)
TORONTO - So rich are the histories of the Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings that the clubs have included two alumni games as part of the 2012 Hockey Winter Festival.
“When we began the process of determining who should be on the roster for the Red Wings alumni team, it became very obvious very quickly that we simply did not have enough room on one bench to hold enough of the deserving players,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a news conference in Detroit on Wednesday.
“When we contacted Toronto and asked them what they thought about the possibility of two games, they immediately breathed a sigh of relief as they were going through the exact same issues we were in trying to fit all these players on one team.”
Some integral names on both sides are missing – for example, Mats Sundin and Gary Roberts with the Leafs and Steve Yzerman and Niklas Lidstrom with the Wings – but they could be added later.
Close to 100 players are expected to take part in the games on Dec. 31 at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Fans will have to pay for just one ticket for the games.
Both teams announced preliminary rosters on Wednesday.
- Toronto – Darryl Sittler, Rick Vaive, Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, Darcy Tucker, Felix Potvin, Mike Palmateer, Kevin Maguire, Wendel Clark, Curtis Joseph, Johnny Bower, Ron Ellis and Jim McKenny
- Detroit – Mickey Redmond, John Ogrodnick, Luc Robitaille, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios, Mark Howe, Larry Murphy, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Joe Kocur, Chris Osgood, Mike Vernon, Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio
The centrepiece of the week, which will include AHL, OHL and NCAA games, will be the regular-season game between the Leafs and Wings in the Winter Classic at the Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1.
The 2012 Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park in the days before the Winter Classic includes the following events. Tickets will go on sale on Aug. 1; for the alumni games, Leafs and Wings season-ticket holders will get a crack at the first sale on Aug. 1, with a general sale in mid-August:
- Dec. 15-26 – Celebration of Hockey amateur games, corporate outings and open skates. Information on booking ice time can be obtained by visiting DetroitRedWings.com/icetime
- Dec. 27-31 – Outdoor festival featuring interactive games, autograph signings, face painting and ice sculpture exhibits as well as musical performances and live entertainment
- Dec. 27-28 – Great Lakes Invitational featuring the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos and Michigan Tech Huskies in the 2012 MacInnes Cup
- Dec. 29 – OHL double-header featuring the Windsor Spitfires vs. the Saginaw Spirit and the Plymouth Whalers vs. the London Knights
- Dec. 30 – AHL game, Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Toronto Marlies
- Dec. 31 – Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown doubleheader