Conditions could affect Winter Classic on ice and in stands

The Canadian Press

12/31/2013 3:05:00 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The NHL is prepared for snow that could cause some havoc at the Winter Classic.

Somewhere between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow are forecasted to fall in Ann Arbor from very early Wednesday through game time.

That's an issue for the 100,000-plus fans who are expected to fill Michigan Stadium for the outdoor game.

It could also impact the quality of conditions for the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings.

The Weather Channel is on site, and NHL chief operating officer John Collins said the league is getting hourly reports on what to expect.

Collins said there is "flexibility" to move the start time back from 1 p.m., but he also expressed optimism that it will go off as scheduled. The 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh was moved back to 8 p.m. because of rain.