The Detroit Red Wings teased a “major announcement” for 10 a.m. on Friday, and it turned out to be one that should generate even more excitement for December’s Alumni Showdown that will be held in conjunction with the Winter Classic. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who retired in 2012 after a stellar 20-season career with the Wings, was announced as the most recent addition for the star-studded event.
A team with a history as rich as the Red Wings’ has no shortage of players available for such an event, as Chris Chelios, Mark Howe and Larry Murphy had already committed to patrol the blue line. Among the forwards heading to the showdown are Hall of Famers Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, Dino Ciccarelli, Igor Larionov and Brendan Shanahan as well as fan favorites like Darren McCarty, Joey Kocur and Tomas Holmstrom. Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon will tend the net for Detroit, and there’s a good chance more additions will be made in coming months.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be able to field a star-studded roster of their own, but Lidstrom’s first playing appearance in Detroit since his retirement is likely to be one of the biggest draws. Still on the wish list of many fans are Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov, who have both indicated that other obligations may keep them from playing. While the Winter Classic will take place in Ann Arbor, Mich. at University of Michigan Stadium, the Alumni Showdown, and AHL game between the Red Wings’ and Maple Leafs’ affiliates and a handful of college, junior and high school games will take place at Comerica Park in Detroit, home of the Detroit Tigers.