Despite the overly optimistic among us clinging to hope, the 2013 NHL Winter Classic and all its accoutrement are D-E-A-D for this season.
Among those impacted: The tens of thousands of puck-crazed hockey fans from Ontario that would parade through Windsor and invade Detroit for the festivities.
So how is Windsor coping with no Classic? By potentially holding one of its own.
No, it's not an open-air stadium with attendance records being set; nor would it even feature professional hockey teams battling it out. But that the Investors Group is proposing, and what the Windsor City Council is expected to consider on Monday night, is a charming, wholesome reaction to the Winter Classic being felled by corporate avarice.
According to Windsorite, The "Windsor Classic" would be a street hockey tournament held on Dec. 28 and 29 in Downtown Windsor:
The two day street hockey game will be centered around the rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, with each registered team choosing to represent one of the two teams. There will be three simultaneous 45 minute games every hour over the course of the two days, with games organized by age group, with one cumulative score for all games.
How great is the idea that the Leafs/Red Wings battle will be taken up by the fans in a street hockey game?
Furthermore: How great is the idea that Windsor would attempt to hold an event (with charitable aspects) as a giant kiss-off to the NHL for allowing this year's outdoor game to die on the vine? If Ann Arbor, Detroit and Toronto don't have similarly inspired quasi-protest events, we'd be disappointed.
So attention Bob Boughner, Ken Daneyko, Tie Domi, Ed Jovanovski, Zack Kassian, Joel Quenneville, Aaron Ward and the rest of the NHL Windorites — clear your calendars for Dec. 28-29 and support the game.
(Unless of course there's an actual NHL season to be played that weekend, in which case we'll all understand.)