Wings were Winter Classic tradition setters

DETROIT — While the Pittsburgh Penguins may have started the tradition of two alumni games leading up to the Winter Classic, the Wings may have started the practice of players skating with family members.

When Detroit played the Chicago Blackhawks in the second Winter Classic, the Wings had a two-hour practice window outdoors.

Coach Mike Babcock decided before he only needed an hour and then the other hour could be used for players and staff to skate with their families.

“I think that has become a bit of a tradition too in the Winter Classic,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I skated with my family, three of my four kids were there and my wife was on the ice. It was incredible to be on the ice skating around knowing that there was going to be a game played out there with 45,000 watching the next day.”


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