The Winter Classic scheduled between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings on New Year's Day could be canceled by November barring a settlement in the NHL's lockout, according to a report by The Toronto Star.
"Gary (Bettman) told (the board of governors) he was going to cancel the Winter Classic in November because he didn't want the players to use the game as leverage," a source told the paper, referring to the NHL Commissioner.
The event is scheduled to take place at the University of Michigan, where a crowd of around 100,000 fans is expected.
"It's a scare tactic," a union source told The Star. "It just proves the NHL has no intention of negotiating any time soon."
The Detroit Red Wings are still planning on playing the game for now.
"We're going forward with (the Winter Classic) at this point in time," Red Wings senior vice-president Jimmy Devellano told the paper. "It's way too early to start to speculate. It's at least a month too early to worry about it."
The NHL and the players union have no talks on a new collective bargaining agreement planned.