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Labor uncertainity forces Detroit to cancel prospects tourney for first time in 15 years

Ken Holland

The Detroit Red Wings announced a significant casualty of the current labor strife on Thursday, canceling their annual prospect tournament in Traverse City.

“Due to the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement and the advance commitments required from the various parties including hotels, airlines, teams, players and their families, we have determined that it is in everyone’s best interest to cancel this year’s tournament,” Detroit GM Ken Holland said on the team website.

The tournament has been held in Traverse City since 1998 and this will mark the first time it’s been canceled. It was scheduled to begin on Sept. 15, the same day that the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

Teams slated to participate in this year’s event included Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis and the New York Rangers.

The tournament has long been known as one of the most popular on the preseason circuit, thanks in large part to the number of prized prospects the Detroit organization has churned out over the last 15 years.

Past participants for the Wings include Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Justin Abdelkader, Cory Emmerton, Jan Mursak, and Brendan Smith.