Detroit Red Wings host Toronto Maple Leafs before 100,000 fans New Year's Day in 2014 NHL Winter Classic on NBCby jmaloni
'Original Six' clash at Michigan Stadium
Team USA Men's and Women's Hockey rosters to be announced
Two storied NHL franchises will face off at one of college football's most historic stadiums in front of more than 100,000 fans on New Year's Day, when NBC presents the 2014 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 1 p.m., from Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. In addition, NBCSN will present coverage of the Maple Leafs-Red Wings alumni games on New Year's Eve, a pre-Olympic exhibition game in women's hockey between Team USA and Team Canada Saturday, Dec. 28, and a matchup of the previous two Stanley Cup winners on Monday night, when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Los Angeles Kings.
Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and Emmy Award-winning "Inside-the-Glass" analyst Pierre McGuire will have the Winter Classic call rink-side from Michigan Stadium, home of the University of Michigan Wolverines football team. It will be the first time a full broadcast team has called an NHL regular-season game at ice level in NBC Sports broadcast-television history.
"NHL Live" host Liam McHugh will be on-site at Michigan Stadium alongside former players and analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick to provide pre-game and post-game analysis, as well as commentary during intermissions.
In addition, The Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist and storm tracker Jim Cantore will be on-site to provide weather updates and conduct interviews throughout the game, a role he has held at previous NHL Winter Classics.
The Red Wings will make their second appearance in the NHL Winter Classic, having defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-4, in 2009 at Wrigley Field, while the Maple Leafs become the first Canadian team to appear in the annual New Year's Day outdoor affair. This event will aim to set the Guinness World Record for highest attendance at a hockey game, which was set at Michigan Stadium in a college hockey game between Michigan and Michigan State in 2010 (104,073).
In advance of the NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day, NBCSN will provide live coverage of two alumni games between former members of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, from Comerica Park in Detroit.
The NHL Winter Classic will also have an Olympic element, with less than 50 days remaining until the start of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. During the second intermission, NBC will provide live coverage of the final roster announcement for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's ice hockey team. Following the game, NBC will also provide coverage of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's ice hockey team roster announcement.
On Saturday, Dec. 28, at 4 p.m. Team USA faces Team Canada in a pre-Olympic women's exhibition game on NBCSN. Last Friday, Team USA defeated Team Canada, by a score of 4-1, for their second straight victory against their rivals to the north. Dave Strader will provide play-by-play action alongside former Team USA members A.J. Mlezcko (analyst) and Natalie Darwitz (analyst), from Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn.
NBC Sports Group's NHL coverage next week begins Monday, Dec. 30, at 8 p.m. on NBCSN with a matchup of the two previous Stanley Cup Champions, when Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks host Dustin Brown and the Los Angeles Kings. John Forslund (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (analyst) will provide live commentary from United Center in Chicago.