Red Wings To Play Old Time Hockey In The U.P., Eh!
The Detroit Red Wings will play the St. Louis Blues in Calumet tonight in an exhibition game in an old arena that was built in 1913.
Calumet, in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, was once a bustling mining town of over 50,000 people. They had one of the first indoor ice arenas in the country, the Colosseum, that was built over a hundred years ago. It is the oldest continually running hockey rinks in the country.
Things change, and the copper mining dried up, and there are only 727 residents of Calumet these days, but the old Colosseum still stands, and tonight, for the first time in its history, it will host a NHL game.
The Blues and the Red Wings will skate before a capacity crowd of 700 in the three story, barrel roof building, in celebration of the rink being named Kraft Hockeyville USA's annual competition to salute small town hockey in the United States.
For winning the award, the rink received over $150,000 in upgrades, including a new ice making plant, a new heating system and new locker rooms.
Most of the Red Wings are fired up about playing in the old rink, saying it's a taste of the old time hockey bragged about in the movie 'Slap Shot'.
Wings coach (and former GR Griffins coach) Jeff Blashill said the game is a homecoming for him, as he played in the Colosseum years ago.
“I grew up in the U.P., albeit five hours away on the better side of the U.P., but nonetheless I played youth hockey in this arena a long time ago,” Blashill told the Detroit Free Press.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s a great, great opportunity. I have some friends that I grew up playing with that live in the Calumet area, or Marquette, and they are going to come up with their kids. It’ll be a fun thing. It’s great for the U.P., it’s great for Calumet. It will be a super amount of fun.”
“It’ll be cool experience,” Wings forward Dylan Larkin told the Detroit News, “the people up there are fired up, it’s a big hockey fanbase in the Upper Peninsula. It’s cool that the Red Wings are part of it.”
NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game beginning at 7 p.m.