The National Hockey League on Friday put its annual outdoor Winter Classic game on ice - the latest casualty of the NHL's lockout of its players.
The nationally televised game - a highlight of the season in part because it is the only NHL match played outdoors - was to pit the Detroit Red Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on January 1.
The league and the NHL Players' Association have not been able to reach a collective bargaining agreement, prompting a lockout that already has forced the league to cancel regular-season games through November 30 - or 26.5% of the season. The season was supposed to begin October 11.
"The cancellation (of the Winter Classic) was necessary because, given the absence of a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL, the league was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage events of this magnitude," the league said in a statement Friday.