Fan stay away in Droves |||| Sinking attendance: Who's to blame?

Some scary attendance figures are staring NHL accountants in the face. The Coyotes are averaging just over 12,000-and that’s announced attendance, not occupied seats. Also the Coyotes are building a new arena. The smallest crowd in Phoenix this season was the 9,639 announced for a visit by the Jackets. The Blue Jackets and the Wild, the NHL’s two newest teams, continue to draw capacity crowds in their third seasons. Detroit, Toronto, Dallas, Colorado, Montreal, the NYRs and Philly also draw capacity crowds or close to it on a regular basis. Look elsewhere around the league, and there are big blocks of empty seats at every game. The Predators is averaging announced crowds of 12,431, Atlanta is at 12,625, Buffalo is at 12,759, Chicago is at 12,854, Anaheim is at 13,192 Boston is at 13,510 and New Jersey is at 13,873. The Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL but on many nights they can’t attract flies to the difficult-to-access Fleet Centre.

The Ottawa Senators also are among the leaders in the overall standings, but they haven’t sold out a game yet at the Corel Centre this season. Sellouts aren’t a sure thing anymore in Toronto and Montreal. The weakened North American economy and boring games are the main reasons for the overall attendance decline.

rushing writes:

The NHL has a bad problem and it’s growing fast. There are cities that are having trouble drawing fans. That is, drawing them into their arenas. There seems to be about 8 teams that can continue to have strong attendance. Why is this? Some of these are high paying teams, some are not. At the same time, we have outstanding playing teams that are not drawing a lot of fans into their arenas.

Is it the ticket prices? Is it the sport? Is it the teams? What is it? Something needs to be done and quick. Read this article ’cause it looks like there may be even less coverage in the near future than there is now! I don’t know about you but I don’t like the sounds of this. The NHL is losing “respect!” I love this sport too much to be losing even more coverage on tv.

Do the players need to get out more into the public and let themselves get known more? Do they need to try and spread hockey through more schools? Something must be done here folks. This just sounds scary.

http://www.dallasstars.com/team/index.cfm?cont_type_id=2778&right_include=toc_razor_archive.cfm&right_cont_type_id=&right_cont_id=


46 Responses to Fan stay away in Droves |||| Sinking attendance: Who's to blame?

  1. nucks2001 says:

    I’d be concerned if it wasn’t happening in other leagues but it isn’t just hockey.. Baseball’s attendance numbers were down.. the NBA’s are down.. Football is the only sport thriving consistently right now (both the NFL and the CFL).. Its just the way the economy is right now.. even, if you want to call it a sport, the WWE has horrible attendance right now (maybe due to the product but the attendance is still horrible)..

  2. UsedandAbused says:

    Hockey is a GREAT sport full of excitement. The problem is the NHL. They have only to blame themselves. The officiating is the worst among ALL sports. There is absolutely no consistency at all. The NHL promises to crack down on interference and does so for a few weeks, then back to the same old shit. The other problem with the officiating is that the refs are biased against certain teams. You Canadians can disagree all you want but the refs favor Canadian teams and certain players. I am absolutely convinced. I see it all the time! Fans get frustrated watching a sport that isn’t fair. It is obvious that when American team plays a Canadian team that the Canadian team will get the edge. It is almost as if Canadians feel it is their God given right to have the better teams, and are angry because they haven’t in years. Also why is the NHL taking the physical aspect out of this game? Hockey isn’t hockey without physical play. More fighting well def help increase interest.

  3. amok says:

    The answer must be a little of each of the causes that Rushing gives (ticket prices, the sport, the teams). Personally, I only pay money (and a hell of a lot at that) to see playoff games. If the tickets were cheaper, sure I’d probably go to a few regular season games, but it’s just too much for a meager student budget. And with so many games on tv, there are a lot of people that would rather stay home with pizza, beer, and some friends to watch it on the box than pay $50+ for a ticket, $10 to park, and $10 for a beer and food at the game.

    The sport is probably the biggest problem. I miss the late 80s early 90s games. 6-5, 5-3… maybe a low scoring 3-2 game here and there. I miss the days when Patrick Roy was the best goalie and had a 2.53 GAA.. not the days when he’s mediocre and has a 2.51 GAA… the days when a guy who scored a point a game wasn’t that special, not the days when a point a game is near the top in the league.

    A couple weeks ago I was in New Jersey watching the Devils play the Blues in a rather dull 2-0 game. The place was dead. Hardly anyone there, no intensity in the game, and not really any reason for anyone to be excited. (The only good thing was that I could leave the $20 ticket seats and move ten rows up from center ice, heh.) Yet at the time these were two first place teams (or if St. Louis wasn’t ahead of Detroit, they were damned close) with tons of quality players: Brodeur, Niedermayer, Elias, Weight, Stillman, MacInnis, etc.. It’s not like this was a Nashville vs. Columbus showdown.

    As for the teams, there are too many. I won’t start any arguments with people by suggesting which teams should go, but there are a few that shouldn’t have been added/moved. The NHL needs more rivalries. Anyone who watched the Edmonton vs. Vancouver game last night definitely did not waste two and a half hours. The second period was the best hockey I’ve seen in years, and despite bad calls and non-calls by the refs for both sides, it had it all: big saves, great goals, a fight, intensity, and a dramatic ending. I can’t wait for these two teams to meet again – luckily it’s only four days from now.

    Rushing makes an interesting point with the thought of players getting out into the public more. In Vancouver the players are everywhere. I’m not sure what it’s like elsewhere in the league, but last year there were huge Bertuzzi advertisements up around Vancouver well into the summer and Naslund and Linden’s faces are probably far more recognizable than any politician or other local newsmaker. Of course, there aren’t any other big sports to compete with hockey here, so Vancouver’s probably more an exception than a rule.

    It would seem to make sense that an entertaining and winning team would bring in the fans, but that doesn’t explain Ottawa. I’d rather watch them play than some of the teams that sell out night after night.

    So really, who knows.. but the NHL had better come up with something quick.

  4. amok says:

    Is the CFL thriving? It seems like it’s always on the verge of going under. If it is doing well then good for it..

    I’m guessing you’re from BC? Another sport that’s not doing too well around here is soccer. The 86ers and Breakers are always near the top and in the finals or semi-finals, yet it seems like they’re always about to go bankrupt, too.

  5. amok says:

    What exactly are you basing your claims of Canadian teams getting favourable treatment on? The refs’ calls seem very random to me. I’ve seen Canadian teams get screwed over and American teams get screwed over. Just like last night’s game in Vancouver… both teams had a couple terrible calls go against them, but that’s just the way the refs are. They’re terribly inconsistent with the rules.. as I’m sure any Ranger fan who watched the New York vs. Philly game will agree with.

    You can’t seriously say that Vancouver was given an edge by the refs over Detroit last year. I wouldn’t say that the Wings were given better calls because they were American, if anything it was that they had established players who are better at a lot of the nuances of the game. Chelios has got his act down to perfection. Young guys like the Sedins, Cooke, Morrison, etc, haven’t. Detroit showed their experience and used it to their advantage. I doubt it was any conspiracy by the refs to get Detroit back to the finals.

    I agree with you completely about the physical play. Part of it has to be that teams that see each other once a year just don’t hate each other. More division rivalry games would help.

  6. nucks2001 says:

    thriving as in fan attendance i mean.. the cfl had a great year (ie. Montreal packing the big-o for the western final was an amazing site)

  7. Steel250 says:

    Your partly right in everything said. I think the bigger issue is that Hockey, even at the best of times is still considered the Number 4 or 5 sport in North America! Without Question number one is Baseball, followed by basketball, and football, then you have Hockey fighting it out with soccer(Oh that pesky futbol), tennis, Nascar and every other fringe sport for 4th or 5 sport in the US. The game just does not click with most amercians yet. But this has always been the problem. Yes inroads have been made, but until you see at least one kid on every street in the US playing some form of street hockey, it will never get beyond the fringe element it always seems to have. Really ask yourselfs, In almost every school yard(and public park) in the US, you will find at least one baseball diamond and field, 2 basketball hoops, and maybe 1 or 2 courts for tennis. And the accessibility to simply play the game is harder for kids to play(Net, Pads, Skates, helmets, pucks, sticks) then say soccer or football, or basketball which in most cases needs only one ball and the willing kids to play. Its partly a cultural thing i suspect, and i don’t know if im simplifying the problem, but look at what most kids in the US are playing most and that will give you a state of thing that are, and are to come in the US! Its sad because Hockey has all the elements of the other sports combined, and still most americas DON’T GET IT??!

    I think a bigger problem we have this year on TV is the NBA on Espn, which has all but eliminated most of the Hockey games throughout the week on ESPN 1,2. And NHL2nite seems to be extinct, because i certainly can’t find it! This is not a good thing! I don’t know where you all live, but here in the west Im missing hockey on espn because they have friggen Rodeo, and jump rope championships on!!!???!!!

  8. SabresFanB says:

    HOCKEY IS BORING!!!!! I mean it’s not as boring as basketball, but it sucks. We have this stupid trap, obstruction is not being called anymore, no hitting, and no fighting.

    Just a question…Basketball has illegal defense. I don’t know how it works or anything, but why can’t the NHL come up with a penalty for the trap and call it “Illegal Defence.” Get rid of the instigator penalty. Don’t break up fights before they get started. Don’t rush over to players who are getting things going. I’m not asking for dirty hockey, I’m just asking for what everyone wants. More fighting and hitting and scoring. Take away the instigator penalty, and take away the trap. There ya go.

    And while we are slicing and dicing everything, get rid of guaranteed contracts and get a salary cap.

  9. Steel250 says:

    Your partly right in everything said. I think the bigger issue is that Hockey, even at the best of times is still considered the Number 4 or 5 sport in North America! Without Question number one is Baseball, followed by basketball, and football, then you have Hockey fighting it out with soccer(Oh that pesky futbol), tennis, Nascar and every other fringe sport for 4th or 5 sport in the US. The game just does not click with most amercians yet. But this has always been the problem. Yes inroads have been made, but until you see at least one kid on every street in the US playing some form of street hockey, it will never get beyond the fringe element it always seems to have. Really ask yourselfs, In almost every school yard(and public park) in the US, you will find at least one baseball diamond and field, 2 basketball hoops, and maybe 1 or 2 courts for tennis. How many scools offer any kind of hockey programs(anyone see the news report and a teenage boy that has to play in skirt on girls field hockey team because the school offers no such hockey program for boys or at all) And the accessibility to simply play the game is harder for kids to play(Net, Pads, Skates, helmets, pucks, sticks) then say soccer or football, or basketball which in most cases needs only one ball and the willing kids to play. Its partly a cultural thing i suspect, and i don’t know if im simplifying the problem, but look at what most kids in the US are playing most and that will give you a state of thing that are, and are to come in the US! Its sad because Hockey has all the elements of the other sports combined, and still most americas DON’T GET IT??!

    I think a bigger problem we have this year on TV is the NBA on Espn, which has all but eliminated most of the Hockey games throughout the week on ESPN 1,2. And NHL2nite seems to be extinct, because i certainly can’t find it! This is not a good thing! I don’t know where you all live, but here in the west Im missing hockey on espn because they have friggen Rodeo, and jump rope championships on!!!???!!!

    As for the state of the game, it still as great as always. i don’t think i can get two fans together in the same room that agree or disagree that the game is better or worse than it ever been.

  10. burky says:

    Attendance is up in Vancouver and it looks like the Canucks are about to have their 7th winning season in club history, that’s two in a row!

    Honestly, this is good news to me, to hear that big market teams like Boston and New Jersey are losing money, now maybe Canadian teams(excluding Toronto) will have a better chance at survival.

  11. titans says:

    I’ll make it simple for you all…IT’S THE TICKET PRICES!!

    Example:

    Two 18th row seats at the F.U. Center for a Flyers game: $160

    Parking: $10

    Two Bad Hot Dogs, two Sodas: $22

    Total it up and your looking at almost TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS two go to a stinken’ hockey game!!!

  12. JC21 says:

    In Vancouver, there are huge ads with Canuck faces and nicknames. They’ve allowed the community to know the players better and feel more involved. The Canucks have currently sold out 9 straight games. We even sold out the Skills Competition. Advertising costs money, but the other cities need to invest in this to popularize their team.

    The NHL should set up an attendance bonus system. Every team should chip in a couple million, and at the end of the year, the teams will be repaid based on their attendance. This will reward teams like the Canucks and force other teams to increase attendance.

  13. Habfan1234 says:

    The problem is that the marketing of these teams stops right after the season ends. We tend to forget about these teams then when they come to the forefront thier season is over (the cycle then repeats itself. The same thing happens with the B.C. Lions. We do not hear about them all winter and early spring. Clearly the above cycle does not occur with my second fav and hometown team the Canucks. We constantly get media coverage of the team during the course of the calender year.

    I wished that they would have replaced the old Empire stadium with a retractable roof 35000 seat stadium. That would bring the fans in on a beautiful Vancouver summer night. People’s usual argument against the open air stadium is that it constantly rains here in Vancouver. This is false because it has only rained on 10 to 15 home games. We would then let the Vancouver Whitecaps and Breakers play in the Stadium. I just want anything to replace the concrete elephant known as B.C Place Stadium.

  14. cwhockey says:

    Someone before said that most American don’t get what a great sport this is. I think many Americans do get that hockey is a very dynamic and engaging sport, they just can’t afford it. In Canada, hockey is the clear-cut number one sport. Here in the US, there are five major sports competing with each other. With the economy the way it is, people are spending less on such entertainment across the board. Hockey, speaking realistically, is the number four sport in the US and is taking a rather nasty hit.

    This of course is only one of many reasons why attendance is down at hockey games (don’t feel like ranting about the other reasons). And if we are honest with ourselves, at best hockey could become the number three sport here. There is no realistic hope in believing that it could overtake baseball or football in terms of popularity, no matter if we believe it should or not. It doesn’t necessairly have to be a popularity contest between the sports. In a better world, it wouldn’t be.

    For whatever reasons, the NHL seems confused right now as to what direction they should take. That’s probably not a good thing. And there isn’t much we can do other than be a spectator, which is probably why we choose to vent our frustrations here. We just have to hope that the right people will get the message that this is a great sport and give us the support we want and need.

  15. Goldenscud says:

    Easy solutions:

    More fighting, less ties (bring in the shootout), more fighting, less teams (contract Phoenix, one of the Florida teams, Buffalo, the RANGERS!), more fighting, get rid of the Isles third jersey, get rid of the 2 line pass rule, more fighting!

  16. Leaf_Expert says:

    2 THINGS!!!!!!!!

    ###1: Too many teams…must contract 4 or 6!.

    #2: Obstruction…Yah!!! faster game,(but its the emotion and fighting that puts the fans in the seats)

  17. Tradedude says:

    If you don’t know how it works then why do you suggest it for hockey? I agree about more scoring, more hits, fighting allowed and stuff but not the instigator penalty.

    So you’re saying if there’s a crowd out front of the net, and it’s like a little scrum and all, no fighting, just talking, then all of the sudden and a player that wasn’t even involved from the scrum (not from the bench) just came in and started to through punches at someone that didn’t harm him at anyway. Just don’t make sense, anyone could do it, and NHL would be wild.

    Illegal defense, i’m not sure, bettman wants more goals, but what are you going to do? don’t forecheck and get a penalty, it would be a little confusing for the refs don’t you think, i’m not to sure about that.

  18. mikster says:

    160!!! WOW!!! I thought the Rangers were more expensive (145). Parking there is is more expensive too though.

  19. Tradedude says:

    A) “Goal Scoring”

    – enlarge nets 4 inches wider and 3 inches taller, so nets would now be 6″4 wider, and 4″3 high.

    – goalie pads deduction from 12 inches wide to 10 inches wide

    – player’s illegal stick amount increased from 3.5 inches to 3.75 inches.

    – ‘No touch’ icing calls available

    – Penalties called only if considered a fair called, no mumbo jumbo made up calls, i think we fans have heard enough of that.

    – 1 ref, 1 linesman, screw the 2 referee system junk. Refs think more of what the other ref is thinking instead of the “actual call”.

    – There should be a shoot-out when tied after regulation. No ties. But still 1 point for OTL.

    – 3 lines made up up forward and 3 lines of defense. No more worthless 4th liners hogging up a good 7 – 10 minutes available for “the better lines”. At ain’t so easy to get into the NHL now, so your gunna have to work your ass off if you want to make it in with the big boys.

    B) “Play-Offs”

    – Reduce current NHL number of teams from 30 back to 24. Again, it ain’t so easy to make it up it with the big boys. AHL flying high.

    Take out one team from each division. Teams such as Anaheim, Atlanta, Buffalo, Calgary, Nashville, and New Jersey.

    – Draft players from the teams above to current existing NHL teams starting from worst to least, in order of “Goals For” fashion, and make this as a surpise so teams don’t purposely lose just to get first dibs on players like Iginla, Kariya, Broduer, Elias, Satan and so on.

    – Keep the play-off amount of teams to 16. 8 in each conference. But this time, points matter, so you can have teams like Ottawa, Montreal, Boston, Toronto all in the top 4 in the eastern conference. Placing 1st in your divion is worthless.

    – Each year, rookie draft consists of 6 rounds, 3 rounds less from the previous 9 rounds for all you geniouses out there. Another reason to make it tougher to get in the big league.

    I have more on the salary cap thing, but i’m too lazy to write that stuff now.

  20. Habfan1234 says:

    Personally I would like to see more intra-conference games. This would be my proposed breakdown:

    6 games VS. teams in own division for a total of 24 games.

    4 games VS. rest of teams in conference for a total of 40 games.

    18 games VS. teams from other conference.

    This would create more intense rivalries by having teams play each other on back-to-back nights. It will create a sense of hatred for the other team because you are sick of seeing them.

    A Western Conference team will play host to an Eastern Conference team 9 times during the course of the year and the same would be true with the Eastern Conference. Here in Vancouver 5 Eastern Conference teams do not pay a visit (Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Philadelphia). This format would only add one more team to that list. I would miss a chance at seeing the likes of Martin Brodeur or Mario Lemieux but I would rather go see a Vancouver vs. Colorado or Vancouver vs. Edmonton game because of the passion and mutual dislike between the teams. If teams do not have a rivalry with another team in the division then this format would help to create one. This is one way the NHL could create a better product but I am sure there are a boatload of other suggestions.

  21. Sundinfan says:

    lucky, for the avs, parking starts at $20 its such B.S. ripping us off, i have tickets for the flyers game against the avs on the 27th, i have tickets in the 23rd row in the corner, and how much are the tickets? 90 FRICKEN DOLLARS A PIECE?!?!??!?! WHAT IN THE HELL? good thing i won them from the local radio station. heh heh

  22. mebeda says:

    Very interesting, but I’m honestly not surprised. A few points:

    1. The league does a horrible job marketing the players. On the ice, its hard to distinguish individuals based solely on physical appearance, but its important to make the players recognizable. Most hockey players are good guys who volunteer a lot of their time for various charities/causes. They do the things they do simply because they’re the right things to do, not because they want attention. Maybe teams should make people more aware of their players presence in their respective communities. Fans always support those players who come across as good guys and they find it easy relating to someone who comes across as ‘one of us.’ Think about this: Allen Iverson would be in jail if he couldn’t play basketball. Similarly, Derek Coleman wouldn’t be qualified to get a job picking up garbage. In the US, those two scumbags are more recognizable than Joe Thornton and Mario Lemieux.

    2. The NHL does a terrible job promoting hockey and generating interest in the game. In the US, hockey is probably the 5th or 6th most popular sport. In Canada, I’m assuming its the most popular. Why does the NHL let teams move out of Canada and focus all expansion in the US? Does it make sense for the growth and financial success of the league and many of its franchises to be dependent on a market where the sport is looked at as being second-tier? If that’s the case, wouldn’t the league want to be proactive in promoting the game at all levels? I’m not sure what exactly needs to be done to promote hockey, but I do know that after having spent every free minute of my childhood playing either sreet hockey or pond hockey, I do find it a little odd that in my 16 years of driving, I’ve never had to wait for a kid to pull the net out of the road!

    Not promoting the game is a dangerous thing. What’s going to happen in Atlanta and Nashville when the novelty wears off? Are fans going to go to games because they love hockey or are they going to stay home and watch reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard?

    3. The game loses credibility if numerous rule changes are implemented each year. The governors need to sit down once and for all and get it right.

  23. UsedandAbused says:

    It sounds to me you are just a racist dumb ass. Iverson is fine and has more heart than atleast 95% of all hockey players. You must be a Canadian, making a stupid remark like that. Basketball is a GREAT sport. Like Domi or Tucker are any better then Allen Iverson. Infact Iverson is ten times better. Media just gives him a bad image. People are to quick to pass judgement on a guy because he is black and has tatoos.

    2) The reason the NHL focuses on teams in the USA is because that is were the money is. It is very simple! Canadian teams (with the exception of Toronto) rely on American teams financially. The NHL can do TONS of things to make the league more attractive. I think they should start by moving the NHL headquarters into an American City and Get rid of all the baised officials.

  24. aaron says:

    I’m not convinced those attendance numbers are down. They’re low, but I don’t know that they’re down. Hell, the older stadiums (like Olympia) only held like 12,000 ppl. And I know in the 80’s, the Dead Wings didn’t get any better than that for their games.

    Ticket prices don’t help; that’s the #1 factor in low attendance. Lack of interest is #2, and improving the game isn’t going to improve interest. It ain’t that simple. #3, who wants to go watch a losing team? Especially pay 200 dollars to go watch a losing team. Fair weather fans. Its true in every sport. Not like hockey is the only sport in the world with low attendance.

    Football in America is the only sport that consistantly draws large crowds pretty much everywhere, and they only play 16 games a season.

    Anyway, its sad that not that many ppl go to watch games, but there’s not much to do about it.

  25. amok says:

    Cool. I wasn’t saying you’re wrong. I don’t actually follow the CFL, but I’m glad to see it does well, as it seems like the players are pretty down to earth (from the promotion I’ve seen of the Lions).

  26. amok says:

    No kidding. Empire Stadium’s glory was before my time, but from what I’ve seen it looked like a great place to watch a game. BC Place is just ugly.

  27. SabresFanB says:

    You’re probably right, but I’m just throwing out ideas. If the refs in the NBA aren’t confused by illegal defense, then why would the refs of the NHL be confused? Dah, well i guess i cant say that since I dont really know how it works, but I’m pretty sure the genius upstairs could figure it out.

    How about this, in the neutral zone only man to man defense. No zone. There can be double teaming and stuff, but that will always leave someone open. I dont know how that will work.

    Ha, I think that might have been a bad idea, so I’m going to give up on it for now…

  28. SabresFanB says:

    I don’t think he’s a racist. If he would have mentioned Steve Howe would you say that he hates white people. The race card is played way too often. If youre in professional sports act like a professional. The media didn’t give Iverson his bad image, he gave it to himself and the media took it and ran.

  29. cwhockey says:

    Except for a select few places, the argument that a bad team draws less usually holds. But now we are even seeing good teams draw poorly. Factors such as a downward economy, mistrust of ownership, poor marketing by the league, etc. are some reasons.

    And as usual I have to carry the banner for Atlanta. Except for the Thrashers, I don’t really care for any other sports team in the city. The fans are much too fairweather. But everyone here should know by now that the die-hard hockey fan is second only to soccer fans in their devotion (there is a reason why soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world). There are a boatload of northerners who live in Atlanta and love hockey. While our die-hard fan base is not as large as other NHL towns, it is here to stay. And time is needed to build it. Should we contract or move a team that has been in the NHL 20-30 years just because they are bad at this moment?

    Maybe the NHL did make a mistake in granting too many franchises. Maybe in the near future they will have to trim to 28 teams (anyone who says down to 24 teams needs to come out of the fantasy, too much backlash if that many teams are removed). If a team is in a serious financial crisis (which in itself could mean a variety of things), relocation or contraction might be an option. Very few other reasons could justify such a move.

    Who knows, maybe the league will try to completely restructure itself and my comments will make me look like an ass. But moving or getting rid of a team is not a process that can be accomplished in a week or two. A year is a much easier time table. The league could have plans in motion now that we wouldn’t know of for quite some time. It’s an enormously complicated task, the details of which are understandably lost on most people.

    Sorry about the rant. Had to do it. But the point is that getting rid of a team is extremely tough and brings a lot of bad baggage with it. That’s the league’s last option. The situation has to get worse than it is now for the league to take that option.

  30. amok says:

    Even better, it’ll be three in a row! heh..

  31. amok says:

    Outrageous isn’t it…

    You travel around a lot.. ever gone to a game in Jersey? $20 for the cheapest seat in the place, then just move wherever you want. That was the best deal I got all week long in New York.. I would have paid more to eat there than I would have for the tickets.

  32. amok says:

    the Canucks are lucky that they have no serious competition from other major sports leagues. You know a town’s hockey crazy when even the Sedins get their own billboard.

  33. amok says:

    You have some interesting ideas but I don’t think that reducing the roster size is a good idea. You’ll see exhausted players..

    One rule that would be very nice would be touch up offsides. I think they have that in the Olympics or the WJC.. not sure which one.

  34. amok says:

    What makes his comment racist? You come off sounding like the “dumb ass” with the “You must be a Canadian, making a stupid remark like that” comment.

    I can’t stand Domi or Tucker, but let us know what exactly they’ve done that can even compare to Iverson’s off court antics.

  35. titans says:

    Yea I used to go to Jersey games all the time, but it’s so sad and pathetic there, it just isn’t worth it anymore.

  36. habsoverserver says:

    Are you sure about the pro-canada bias? Consider Thornton’s spearing of the Habs’ Markov which went for no penalty and look what happened in NYC last week when Joe Juneau was elbowed in the head without penalty. Sounds more like lousy refs than pro- Canada bias.

  37. nskerr says:

    As an Islander season ticket holder, I can tell you that a tremendous amount of people dropped their seats after a 40-50% increase in prices. I had to cut down my plan by a ticket and split 2 seats among 3 people. I doubt I will have seats next year. Plus the arena is old an uncomfortable. At least in the new arenas, there is leg room, plenty of bathrooms and concessions. At the Coliseum, we are hearded up like cattle to see a team that plays better on the road then at home.

  38. Tradedude says:

    I personally don’t really like that rule, i’m used to it when i play hockey, but I just don’t like it, your wasting valuable time coming back to the the blue-line.

    And yes, maybe exhausted players, but you need to be good in order to be in this league.

  39. MantaRay says:

    Alot has to do with the economic climate. The Eastern US has been in a recession the past two and half years and it is having its effect on everything.

    Most people are wary of their jobs and can’t waste $50 price per ticket.

  40. Tradedude says:

    umm ya, does it really cost 22$ for a “bad” hot dog and sodas. it cost me 5 to 8 bucks. Parking in toronto is $5, but u have to walk for 5 or 6 blocks.

  41. Rushing says:

    Illegal defense in basketball is when you have “two” men guarding one person without the ball or when a person guarding the offensive player is over a certain distance away from him. Such as, if the offensive player is outside the 3 pt. line, the defensive player can’t be inside the free throw line.

    At the same time, in the NBA, they have 3 refs calling their fouls while the NHL only have two. Also, the NBA don’t have their players moving near as fast (running) as the players in the NHL (skating) are. There is also much more room on the ice than on the floor of the court.

  42. Rushing says:

    That can’t just be the reason. There are numerous cities that the rate of pay are higher than in Dallas yet Dallas can still continue to have sell outs while others can’t?

    BTW, I bought my dad and two brothers(and self of course) tickets to the Stars and Blackhawks on Jan. 9th just 6 rows from the glass. Crhistmas prestents. They are $135 a piece. Free parking passes came with them. I got them on EBAY. When I went there to pick them up from the man who runs a pool table company, he opened up his safe and pulled out an entire “SEASON TICKET” book of them. I just wanted to grab that book and run. LOL

  43. Tradedude says:

    so what your trying to say is……..??

  44. Rushing says:

    Being that there are “three” refs in a basketball game and only “two” in a hockey game, would it not be easier to spot an “Illegal” defense in a basketball game? At the same time if they are moving faster in the hockey game and over a larger/more spread out area it would be harder.

    He was asking why the refs in basketball spot it easier.

    At the same time, if I’m not mistaken here, as it was being said on tv the other day, in the NBA the refs stay together as a group and travel together all year long. In the NHL that isn’t so. The change periodicly. In other words, the NBA refs can get use to one another and stay the same way calling penalties. Yet, in the NHL when they change and then notice that the may be completely different. It can throw them off track in calling penalties.

  45. mebeda says:

    This is a joke, right? Because my comments were ‘stupid,’ you assume that I’m Canadian. Does this mean you think all Canadians are stupid? You took what I said about 2 people and applied it to an entire race. I’m not sure that that’s fair.

    Here’s the point: certain individuals have selling power (Tie Domi doesn’t, by the way). Have you been to a mall recently? There could be a seperate section in every sporting goods store for Iverson merchandise. Nike and the NBA use this guy to sell merchandise. Why shouldn’t they? He is an amazing player. The NHL, on the other hand, needs to sell hockey. They need to find more creative ways to use the players as a vehicle to promote the game. If someone like Iverson (who owns guns!) can sell, so can someone like Thornton or Lemieux or Brodeur, etc…

  46. mebeda says:

    Reebok, not Nike

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