NHL Announces 2014 Winter Classic

Outdoor game in Ann Arbor, Mich. officially rescheduled

The NHL announced Sunday morning that the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Jan. 1 for the next Winter Classic. I'm starting to sound like a broken record. This same game was announced last year for 2013 but was canceled due to the lockout. It will now take place in 2014.

Better than the announcement of the big game was the unveiling of all the jerseys that will be used at the event next January. So we'll have a lot of pictures in this post. Enjoy.

We'll start with the host team. The Red Wings who, according to the press release, "will be wearing iconic red and antique white uniforms featuring a striping pattern and arch Detroit wordmark inspired by the late-1920s Detroit Cougars. The front crest on the jersey will feature an early iteration of the winged wheel from the late 1930s Red Wings."

Photo from Detroit Red Wings official website

Perhaps the most fascinating detail of this jersey is the captains' letters being worn on the left sleeve. Above, you see the "A" on Pavel Datsyuk's sweater, and below, the "C" on Henrik Zetterberg's. I think this may be the first time we've ever seen the captains marked anywhere but the chest.

Photos from Detroit Red Wings official website

Here are a few more looks at the jersey and some the details.

Now let's switch gears to their opponent.

The Maple Leafs are going back to 1927 for their Winter Classic uniform — a design they actually resurrected briefly back in the 90s.

Photo from Schuyler Baehman via Twitter

Here's what the team says about the jersey on their website's current splash page.

The Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 NHL Winter Classic sweater speaks to our storied beginnings and evokes memories of Hall of Famers nicknamed "Busher" Jackson, "Ace" Bailey, "King" Clancy and "Gentleman" Joe Primeau.

The name and crest were born on a train ride home from Michigan in 1927, with Toronto leaving Detroit as the St. Pats and pulling into Old Union Station as the Toronto Maple Leafs. Our blue and white colours were chosen by team founder Conn Smythe to reflect is alma mater the University of Toronto.

An unabashed patriot, Smythe wanted to adopt Canada's national emblem, the maple leaf, for his new hockey team, stating: "The Maple Leaf, to us, was the badge of courage, the badge that meant home... We chose it hoping [it would be] worn with honour and pride and courage, the way it had been worn by the soldiers of the first Great War in the Canadian Army."

Don't you love the Detroit tie-in to that story?

Photo from Toronto Maple Leafs via Facebook

Now I'd love to show you some more pictures of that Leafs jersey here, but — unlike the Red Wings — the Leafs haven't put a whole lot out there yet. So we'll just skip to the next bit.

Photo from Detroit Red Wings via Facebook

The sweaters for the alumni game were also unveiled today. The Wings will basically wear the opposite of their 2009 Winter Classic jersey — red with a white stripe and "D" on the chest. The Leafs will sport their 1970s uniform.

Here are some other notes from the day:

  • HBO's 24/7 series will be back to chronicle the season leading up to the Winter Classic. It's worth noting that realignment puts Detroit and Toronto in the same division next season which will make things even more interesting.
  • There's been a lot of talk about multiple outdoor games in 2014. Perhaps another Heritage Classic featuring the Montreal Canadiens and, say, the Vancouver Canucks in their Millionaires jersey? I only say Montreal because they've played every Heritage game so far. But maybe the Ottawa Senators in a white version of their Heritage jerseys could take on the Millionaires-clad Canucks? That way everybody gets a turn at playing on a pond.
  • And finally... BLUE VERSUS RED!!

What are you excited about most when it comes to the 2014 NHL Winter Classic?