Hockey excitement is building in the "D" as the Winter Classic approaches

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Over the next several days, hockey is taking over Comerica Park. 

The baseball field has been replaced with an ice skating rink for this weekend's exciting events surrounding the NHL's Winter classic, including the Great Lakes Invitational college hockey tournament. 

College hockey players will hit the ice Friday and Saturday.

But Thursday night, some of the game's biggest names dusted off their skates. 

Former members of the Red Wings got in some practice time. The players are getting ready for the big Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown, which is scheduled for December 31st. 

Former Red Wings player and current announcer Mickey Redmond said he's been getting in shape for the past year. 

"We are going to kick some Maple Leaf rear end, how about that." was how Redmond described the alumni showdown.

Two games are scheduled, 1pm and 3:30pm.  An internet check shows tickets are still available.

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