NHL Lockout Creates Chances For EIHL

Get out the chains and padlocks the NHL is on lockout. Just 7 seasons of play since the last season long lockout the NHL will down tools. But what of the players in the merrygoround that is the negotiations. This … Continue reading

Parti Quebecois Wants Hockey Raison D’Etre

Ice hockey and politics in Quebec are two things that all most go hand in hand. Last season there were demonstrations outside the Bell Centre over the appointment of American Randy Cunneyworthy and you can go back to furry Maurice … Continue reading

British Hockey Past Honoured in Conference Names

The EIHL have announced the names for the two conferences for next season. In May the Elite League split the teams into 2 conferences. The ‘southern’ conference containing Belfast, Cardiff, Coventry, Nottingham and Sheffield will be named the Erhardt Conference. … Continue reading

Reasons To Like The 2012 Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings

Congratulations to the LA Kings on winning the 2012 Stanley Cup. Lets be honest we never thought we would be saying that when the Kings scraped into the playoffs in 8th place in the Western Conference. But the Kings took … Continue reading

Welsh Winter Wonderland Could Be Next For NHL

Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium could be about to make history again. Famous for its sporting events, which include soccer, rugby and even motor sports as well as countless concerts the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has become world renowned for its versatility … Continue reading

Event: Blueliner Guide To 2013 Winter Classic

Main Event:

DATE: 1st January 2013

TEAMS: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Detroit Red Wings

VENUE: Michigan Stadium ‘The Big House’, Michigan University,  Ann Arbour, Michigan – take bus 17 then 8 from the Amtrack Station.

TICKETS: The first ticket packages are now open confirmed. Registration will be open from the 1st August with first tickets on sale in mid August. Normally the registration is only available to American and Canadian residents. Registration is at detroitredwings.com/2013winterclassic

Seating Chart For ‘Big House’

WHERE TO STAY: Hotel accomodation in Ann Arbour is limited so look to stay in Detroit and travel to Ann Arbour for the game. The train to Chicago from Detroit passes through Ann Arbour.

WHERE TO EAT: Maise and Blue in Ann Arbour is a must with fans visiting the Big House.

WHAT ELSE TO SEE: There will be plenty going on around the game such as a fan park. There will also be other outdoor games both at ‘The Big House’ and at Comerica Park, Detroit. See Below.

SEE ALSO: Detroit Red Wings Mini Site


Blueliner Hockey Store 2013 Winter Classic Range

Comerica Park Events


DEC. 15-26: Celebration of Hockey featuring amateur games, corporate outings and open skates. Information on booking ice time can be obtained by visiting DetroitRedWings.com/icetime.

DEC. 27-31: Outdoor Festival featuring interactive games, autograph signings, face painting and ice sculpture exhibits as well as musical performances and entertainment.

DEC. 27-28: Great Lakes Invitational featuring the Michigan Wolverines (NCAA) , Michigan State Spartans (NCAA) , Western Michigan Broncos (NCAA) and Michigan Tech Huskies (NCAA) all competing for the 2012 MacInnes Cup.

DEC. 29: Ontario Hockey League doubleheader featuring the Windsor Spitfires taking on the Saginaw Spirit, and the Plymouth Whalers battling the J. Ross Robertson Cup champion London Knights.

DEC. 30: American Hockey League Game featuring the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliates of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, respectively.

DEC. 31: Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown featuring legendary players from two of the National Hockey League’s most storied franchises going head-to-head.

VENUE: Comerica Park, Detroit – take people mover to Park Avenue

TICKETS: The first ticket packages are now open confirmed. Registration will be open from the 1st August with first tickets on sale in mid August. Normally the registration is only available to American and Canadian residents. Registration is at detroitredwings.com/2013winterclassic

Comerica Park Seating Plan




Grand Rapid Griffins 


Travel Section

As you may have noticed The Blueliner Hockey Blog is currently undertaking a transformation to become Blueliner Hockey. This is part of the launch of the travel section.

The aim of this section is to provide a reference for hockey fans thinking about going to see a game in another city, country or league and to provide them with all the necessary information or somewhere they can go to find it out.

Whilst the Blueliner Hockey Tour does uncover some of this information it does not find it all. This is where you come in. If you have any information about tickets, venues, transport, hotels, bars, events or pretty much anything that a hockey fan from another city or country coming to your town to watch a game should know then let me.

Ultimately we would like to get every city in the world in one place. No league is too small, no rink too basic.

Blueliner Hockey Tour Day 6

Well folks that is that. As head back to the airport the Blueliner tour is over with for at least another year. Stockholm has been great. It is a place that loves its sports whether it is soccer, hockey, bandy or any of the other sports the clubs of this city play. It is also a place of history, beauty and passion. It’s people love their city and love their team. If you want to go anywhere to see a hockey game I would recommend here. It is easy to get around, good fans, good pubs, good places to eat.
So what next? It is unsure whether there will be a tour next calender year but rest assured that is for good reason. For in 2012/ 2013 season the Blueliner Hockey Tour will head to the NHL  and the city of Vancouver.

2011 Blueliner Hockey Trip

You are probably not really wondering how the Blueliner spends his summer but if you were you might think he mimics his on ice counterparts in winding the long summer days down on the golf course. Whilst I do know the difference between a 9 iron and driver the Blueliner is purely about ice hockey.

In the past 2 years the Blueliner has headed off to watch the sport in USA, Canada, Northern Ireland, Czech Republic, Wales, England and even Yorkshire and Nottingham. Seeing national teams, outdoor games, NHL and National League. Sadly due to some technical issues I have not been able to bring these to you. This year though I would like this to be different.

For the past few weeks I have been looking around and speaking to a few people to establish this seasons big hockey adventure. Currently Geneva is a front runner as is Ljubljana although only the Swiss League have released their fixtures so far. As always all information on events, where to go, stay and drink is welcomed and greatly received.

As soon as arrangements are finalised you will be first to know and hopefully come October there will be some live blogs from where ever the Blueliner ends up.

Big Changes on Horizon

In the past couple of weeks two of North America’s big four sports leagues have announce or are rumoured to be thinking of proposals to the structure of their league. The NHL followed Major League Baseball in bring up a proposal to alter the structure and fixtures to ensure a fairer season.
The NHL’s reported idea is to make 4 large divisions based on geography namely the east, central, midwest and west with the top 4 in each qualifying for playoffs. The first round and second round matches would be inter divisional. The third roun would be between the east and central and the west and midwest for the conference finals with the stanley being decided between the winners of those on the traditional east v west lines.
The possible make up would look something like this.
Florida Panthers
Washington Capitals
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Boston Bruins
New Jersey Devils
Carolina Hurricanes

Buffalo Sabres
Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs
Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadiens

St Louis Blues
Dallas Stars
Minnasota Wild
Chicago Blackhawks
Phoenix Coyotes
Nashville Predators
Columbus Blue Jackets

Vancouver Canucks
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Colorado avalanche
Anaheim Ducks
Edmonton Oilers
Calgary Flames

These possible divisional matchups do cause two problems. Firstly that of rivalry. Boston would lose its divisional rivalry with Montreal although would gain a match up with the Rangers. Chicago would lose any original six match up within it’s division and conference leaving it somewhat isolated. Whilst in any effort to keep the two Alberta sides in the same division would me that either Vancouver or Winnipeg would miss out on another Canadian side in their division. Although these seem a big loss the plans are that in a 82 game season sides would play the other divisions home and away and thus ensuring any rival could continue. Also it would allow Detroit to rekindle its ancient rivaly with Toronto.
The second issue is that of fairness. The MLB is interested in changing its structure to two even conferences instead of a 16 – 14 national/ american league split so that all side have the same chance of making the playoffs. However this new NHL structure creates this problem. Sides in 2 divisions would need a better record than only 3 teams instead of 4 like the other two divisions.
There is of course a way round this. Have two new NHL teams. Quebec and Seattle anyone!
These two cities would fit in nicely. Quebec in the Central Division and Seattle in the west and both have been strongly linked with the NHL throughout the Winnipeg/ Atlanta/ Phoenix debacle.
Whilst it may look as tho the central division is the hardest to get out of every division has for 4 teams that made the 2011 playoffs.
As long as those 2 new teams come along wherever they may be based. This could be a system that works with the rivalries within the division being aided by the home and away series with those outside of the division and also the added spice of divisional matchups in the early rounds of the play offs. After all who didnt enjoy the Boston – Montreal series this spring?