The worst kept secret in hockey is now official. On Sunday morning during a press conference at Joe Louis Arena, the NHL officially announced (again) that the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will participate in the next Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.
Having already done the "at the venue" press conference last February before the 2013 game was cancelled (thanks, NHL lockout), this was a more low-key affair.
The leaks have been out there for some time now, but something that wasn't officially revealed until Sunday morning were the jerseys the Red Wings and Maple Leafs would wear.
About the jerseys, from the NHL:
Detroit 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.
There's even a touch of the early 1980s Red Wings with the custom Detroit wordmark and the number system. Both are exclusive to the typeface worn by the Red Wings from 30 years ago.
Toronto's uniforms will be royal blue and white and feature the distinct striping configuration inspired by the 1930s Maple Leafs. The front crest of the jersey will feature a distinct wordmark from the inaugural Maple Leafs' logo, revealed in 1927. The neckline design is taken from the sweaters worn by the Leafs throughout the 1960s and the running stitch detail on the numbers is a tribute to the Leafs' sweater from the mid-1950s.
During the press conference, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also announced that 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic will return in December. There will also (again) be two alumni games planned because of the large number of potential participants. The alumni games will wear different jerseys for the both the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.
As was planned for Dec. 2012, Comerica Park will feature various games from high school to minor hockey to junior hockey to sled hockey.
Back to the jersey: we can't complain about them. The sweaters and their Original Six feel will look great on TV and in front of the 105,000-plus at The Big House.
This will also be the first Winter Classic featuring both teams wearing colors and no whites. So, what do you think?
Pass or Fail: The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 Winter Classic jerseys
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy