Report: Red Wings and Maple Leafs to play in 2013 Winter Classic

A person familiar with the NHL’s plan said Wednesday the Detroit Red Wings will play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 Winter Classic.

The league is not expected to announce the lineup until today.

Earlier in the day, the University of Michigan Board of Regents authorized the athletics department to seek a contract with the NHL that would allow the league to hold next year’s showcase at Michigan Stadium. The NHL has offered to pay up to $3 million for a license to use the iconic college football stadium, according to the recommendation approved by the board.

The recommendation also said the Winter Classic would be scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013, with an alternate date of Jan. 2. A liquor license would be obtained so alcohol could be served at the event, and the NHL would bring its “advertising and other sponsorship arrangements” into the stadium.

Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have hosted the Winter Classic, but a game at Michigan Stadium could draw the league’s largest crowd.

The Wolverines and rival Michigan State attracted a Guinness World Record 104,173 people for a hockey game on Dec. 11, 2010.

This year’s Winter Classic at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park drew 46,967, and the New York Rangers beat the host Flyers 3-2.

Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the third period as the Detroit Red Wings extended their home winning streak to 18 with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

The Calgary Flames re-signed defenseman Derek Smith to a $1.55 million, two-year contract.

The Blue Jackets signed left wing Vinny Prospal to a one-year contract extension through next season.


OPEN GDF SUEZ: Maria Sharapova beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals in Paris.

Julia Goerges also moved into the quarterfinals by defeating Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4.


WNBA: Tamika Catchings, the reigning WNBA MVP, signed a free-agent contract with the Indiana Fever. She has played 10 seasons in the league, all with the Fever.

The Los Angeles Sparks signed four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard to a free-agent contract.


REHAB: Michael Phelps is the latest athlete to use a hyperbaric chamber to aid his recovery from training.

The 16-time Olympic medalist said he had been sleeping “at 8,000 feet every night” for almost a year. Phelps, 26, noticed he bounced back from workouts better when he trained at altitude, so he’s trying a device that simulates that.

Phelps is preparing for what he says will be his final Olympics this summer in London. He won a record eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008.

— From news service reports

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