Pacific Northwest Playoff Guide

Here is your completely biased and unapologetic pacific northwest guide to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the exception of the Pittsburgh Penguins, all Stanley Cup Playoff teams have a northwest reason to root for on the team. Without further ado, here is your reason to root for <<Insert team name not named Pittsburgh Penguins here>>.

Anaheim Ducks

Assistant Coach Steve Konowalchuk, coached the Seattle Thunderbirds for 6 years. The Thunderbirds qualified for the WHL playoffs 5 out of the 6 years of his tenure includingimg_6513 two trips to the WHL Final capped off with winning their first WHL Championship in franchise history.

Boston Bruins

Defensemen Brandon Carlo played for the Tri-City Americans 2013-2016 and has been a reliable blue liner for the Bruins for the last two seasons. Unfortunately, Carlo fractured his ankle two weeks ago and baring a minor miracle, will not be playing in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche

Avs Head Coach, Jared Bednar, played for the Spokane Chiefs for 2ish years from 1991-1992. In his only complete season with the Chiefs, he amassed 200 penalty minutes in 62 games played. 8 other Chiefs had more PIMs that season. The most recent season, no player on the Chiefs had over 200 PIMs. Let’s just say it was a different game when Bednar played.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Let’s call the Bluejackets the little Winterhawks, or seth-jones-4_3_r536_c534would they be the big Winterhawks? NHL veteran and Blue Jackets Centerman, Brandon Dubinsky played 4 seasons with the Winterhawks. Oliver Bjorkstrand had monster numbers in his 3 seasons with Winterhawks from 2012-2015. Including playoffs, Bjorkstrand had 367 points over 252 games. Defenseman, Seth Jones played only one season with Portland but he had 56 points over 61 games and was drafted 4th overall the following summer. For basketball fans, Seth Jones’ father is former NBA standout Popeye Jones. The Blue Jackets also have former Murray_Ryan_11_12_6-1024x743Everett Silvertip, Ryan Murray. Murray played 4 seasons with the Tips from 2009-2013 and made the jump straight to the NHL.

LA Kings

Both NHL vets Brooks Laich and Nate Thompson played for Seattle Thunderbirds 2001-2003. Between the two of them, they have almost 1400 games in the NHL.

Minnesota Wild

Jared Spurgeon played 5 seasons with the Spokane Chiefs 2cce612df7841ee27b8aceb6da8ae886between 2005 and 2010. This late rounder (NHL draft) has over 500 games in the NHL and will need to be leaned on a bit more in the playoff with Ryan Suter’s injury. Nino Niederreiter played 2 years with the Portland Winterhawks between 2009-11. Matt Dumba joined the Winterhawks very briefly in 2013-14 for 26 games.

Nashville Predators

Ryan Johansen played 2 seasons with the Portland WInterhawks before jumping to the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets. During the 2015-16 season he was traded in a Winterhawk for Winterhawk trade when Columbus sent him to Nashville for the aforementioned Seth Jones.

New Jersey Devils

Speedy winger Michael Grabner played 3 seasons with the Spokane Chiefs from 2004 to 2007. If the Devils plan to make a playoff run, they will need to get some additional scoring from someone not named Taylor Hall. Grabner might be a candidate to step up. Defenseman Mirco Mueller played 2 seasons with the Everett Silvertip in 2012-14. His NHL career has been a bit underwhelming but a strong playoff performance can turn that around in a hurry.

Philadelphia Flyers

radko gudasRadko Gudas played one season with the Everett Silvertips during the 2009-10 season. I think it is safe to say if the Flyers-Pens series to go medieval, Gudas will probably be at the center of it. Winger Taylor Leier played 3 seasons with Portland. His playing time might be limited but as the playoffs move on, injuries happen and that might create an opportunity for Leier.

Pittsburgh Penguins

I can find absolutely no ties to the Northwest on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster, coaching staff or equipment staff.

San Jose Sharks

Brendon Dillon played 4 years with the Seattle Thunderbirds Defender Brenden Dillon tries to get the puck to a teammate.despite being undrafted in the WHL Bantam draft. The great dane, Jannik Hansen averaged a point per game in his one and only season for Portland Winterhawks in 2005-06. Bonney Lake, WA native and recently signed Dylan Gambrell has joined the Sharks after his college season ended at University of Denver. Gambrell might not see a lot of ice time during the playoffs but it is great to see this native play in the NHL. Last but not least, Minnesota native Paul Martin visited the Angry Beaver a few years ago after the Phinney Ridge explosion closed the bar for a long time. That’s a gesture worth rooting for don’t you think?

Tampa Bay Lightning

spt_13_johnson_cover_2_t400Spokane born and raised Tyler Johnson went undrafted in the WHL bantam draft and NHL draft. He played with the Spokane Chiefs from 2007 to 2011. He has averaged over 20 goals a season in his first 5 full season in the NHL and has a knack for coming up huge in the playoffs, averaging close to a point per game in his 47 playoff games. Braydon Coburn played 4 seasons with the Portland Winterhawks from 2000-05. Last but not least assistant equipment guy, Jason Berger was the head equipment for the Seattle Thunderbirds from 2007 to 2011.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Head Coach icon, Mike Babcock was the head coach patrick-marleaufor the Spokane Chiefs for 6 seasons from 1994-00. Patrick Marleau played 2 seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds from 1995-97. In his second season with the Tbirds, Patty had 125 points in 71 games.

Vegas Golden Knights

After starting the season in the minors, former Seattle Thunderbird, Shea Theodore ended with a great year with the big club amassing 29 points in 61 games. Theo played 3 full seasons with the Thunderbirds from 2011-2014.

Washington CapitalsOshieSeattleJr_large

Olympic hero TJ Oshie grew up in Mt Vernon, WA and played Seattle Junior hockey until he moved away to Warroad, Minnesota for high school for his hockey development. Up until Dylan Gambrell’s late season signing this year, he was the Seattle areas lone NHLer for many years.

Winnipeg Jets

Defenseman Joe Morrow played 4 seasons with the Portland Winterhawks from 2008-2012.

Summary

  • 1 former Tri-City American
  • 3 local born and raised Washingtonians
  • 3 former Everett Silvertips
  • 6 former Spokane Chiefs
  • 7 former Seattle Thunderbirds
  • 10 former Portland Winterhawks

Bettman and Daly visit with Seattle Mayor and King County Executive

If you have been paying any attention to any hockey news in the last 24 hours, you may have heard that Gary Bettman & Bill Daly, visited Seattle last week to meet with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. Both sides are saying the meeting was informal and the NHL wanted to check the status of the meeting.

 

The original news broke from our local man Chris Daniels here:  http://www.king5.com/news/arena/NHL-Commissioner-makes-personal-visit-to-KC-Exec-and-Seattle-Mayor-259126371.html

 

Then everyone piled on citing the same report: tsn.ca, The Hockey News & myNorthwest bettman_gary640all pretty much say the same thing Daniels said.

 

OK, this is great news but before we get too excited, the hurdles still remain. I love that Bettman took the time to visit our local officials and it sends a great message how seriously he values Seattle as a potential hockey market. If nothing else, he is building a relationship and relationships take time. It is clear that the NHL really likes the Seattle market, a comment that was stated by Daniels, Geoff Baker and Brian Robinson last Saturday at our Hockey Hangout media panel at the Angry Beaver.

 

The Hurdles

The Arena. The Arena is still the largest hurdle facing the prospects of landing an NHL team in Seattle. Actual next step is under debate. Brian Robinson from ArenaSolution seems to think the Letter of Intent (LOI) must be signed with the NHL and prospective ownership groups. Geoff Baker believes that a conditional LOI can be signed to begin the steps of negotiating with Hansen/Ballmer to partner on the arena. I tend to lean in the camp that says if an LOI is signed with the NHL and prospective NHL ownership group, chances are they are already close on a deal with Hansen/Ballmer and all parties are reasonably confident that opening the MOU for an NHL first scenario can and will be achievable.

 

Next Board of Governors Meeting

This might be all leading up to some kind of proposal, announcement or resolution at the next NHL Board of Governors meeting that will take place during the Stanley Cup Finals. Is it possible that we hear something come out of the BOG meeting?  Perhaps, but I think it is a relatively low probability of happening. Probably the same odds I would have given the New York Rangers  in coming back from a 3-1 deficit to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

What makes Seattle such an attractive market?

We have heard much of the news lately about 3 potential ownership groups interested in brining an NHL franchise to Seattle. It is also clear that the NHL views Seattle as an attractive market. So what makes Seattle such an attractive market?

TV Market

Regional Sports Networks (RSN) are a critical revenue stream to pro sports these days. Seattle is the second biggest DMA that is currently without a regular NHL team on a local RSN. Root Sports Northwest currently serves about 3 Million households a month in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Although small, those last two states are fairly significant considering their appetite for hockey.

From a national perspective, having a team in Seattle should help NBC/NBC Sports numbers as well. It should be pointed out that our current viewership is split with CBC. That will change over the next few years as the HNIC broadcast will be of lower significance as the Rogers deal in Canada takes hold.

Average Income

Of the top 50 biggest metropolitan areas in the country, Seattle ranks 7th in Average income and is the 2nd highest average income city without an NHL team. Hartford has a slightly higher Average Income but roughly a third of the population of the Seattle area.

TV&Income2

Buckle up: We are in for a ride

Last week I posted my assessment of Geoff Baker’s article from 2/13 about the potential of Seattle landing an NHL team. Since then, Geoff followed up with an additional article 2/20 with some information on a Seattle delegation headed up to Vancouver to learn more about the business of hockey and take in a game. For the Steve-Ballmer-3most part, it was nothing new and information we expected was going on behind the scenes.

…but on Friday, while a guest on a Vancouver sports radio show, Baker revealed that the 3 potential ownership groups of a Seattle NHL franchise are 1) Bartozek/Lanza 2) Don Levin and 3) Steve Ballmer. The Ballmer news is huge and could be very positive for the prospects of landing a hockey team in Seattle for 2015-16 Season. If Ballmer is the man, it should greatly simplify the non NHL complexities of the deal. Specifically, agreement with ArenaCo (Hansen/Ballmer) and the City of Seattle (Amending the MOU). Obviously, Ballmer and ArenaCo will come to terms and the City of Seattle should not be AS concerned about changing the MOU to have an NBA/NHL option.

The entire radio interview is here. The segment starts around the 22 Minute mark and goes about 14 minutes. It is worth a listen. At one point Baker implies that the MOU would need a major re-write in order to allow an NHL first scenario. Baker and I spared over this on twitter a while back and I still believe this should be a minor addendum. Fortunately, King County Executive Dow Constantine thinks the same way I do so frankly I think Baker is wrong in that regard. I am also surprised to hear Levin’s name pop into the equation based on the differences of opinion Hansen and Levin had a while back.

I am trying not to get excited here as there still is only one source for this specific information and Ballmer has never expressed interest in an NHL franchise before now. I am proceeding with caution here but still excited at the prospects of Ballmer owning the NHL team. Now that the Olympics are over, I think it is possible that we might get an official statement out of the NHL or from one or all of the named ownership groups. I would expect Ballmer to confirm or deny this rumor in the next couple days.

Hang in there but keep in mind we should gain some idea how this will land in the next 4 months.

Same as it ever was….

By now you have probably heard about the article posted in the Seattle Times last week about NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly saying Seattle would be a “good hockey market”. While there were a few nuggets of 2012+NHL+Entry+Draft+Rounds+2+7+lyfx4JlSpv9lnew speculation in there, we have heard a lot of it before. First, we know the NHL likes Seattle so the Bill Daly quote in the article isn’t exactly new info. Here are some of the quotes that we have heard from League and team officers over the last 12 months:

“The research that I have seen tells me that it would be a very strong hockey market. …Obviously if there were a team in Seattle it would create a decent rivalry with their northern neighbor, namely Vancouver.” –Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner (April 7th 2013)

“But I think it’s safe to say we’re very intrigued by the Pacific Northwest generally. Going forward I would expect that to the extent expansion comes into the picture or relocation is needed, I’m sure the Pacific Northwest is going to get serious consideration.” –Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner (July 24th 2013)

“With the [new] arena in Seattle, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put hockey back into the Seattle/Portland marketplace and we have to make a commitment to that.” – Tim Leiweke, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment CEO (October 29th 2013)

The timing makes a lot of sense for 2 reasons:

  1. Ramping Window: Expansion teams need as much ramp as possible to get ready for their inaugural season. Training Facilities, Scouting staff and front offices need to get rolling ASAP if 2015-16 Season is the target.
  2. PR Timeline: The NHL needed to get through their two big Regular Season showcase events (Stadium Series & Winter Classic). Post Olympics and a lull in sports between the Super Bowl and March Madness provides a perfect announcement window. The only other windows I see could be right before the Stanley Cup Playoffs or right before the NHL draft in late June.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the news but I don’t think it is as big as it sounds. That or I don’t want the fans of Seattle to get burned again. Seattle will be a great NHL market someday and I hope it starts in 2015 but let’s move forward with some tempered enthusiasm.

November NHL Attendance Report: Numbers still strong

November proved to be another good month for the NHL reported attendance numbers. Attendance was up 1% compared to games in November of 2011 and is up 2% for the first two months of the season compared to 2011. 2% might not sound like much but in a league where half the teams sellout every team, that is significant. Big gainers for the month were the usual suspects and the ones with the most opportunity for improvement: Dallas, Phoenix & Colorado all had increase of over 15% in November. They are also the top 3 teams for the full year to date. On the other side of the equation is Florida, Ottawa & St. Louis that were down 9%, 12% and 13% respectively.

NHL Attendance 2013 Oct-Nov  compare

Ottawa

Senators get the dubious honor of falling from the ranks of the Sellout Team group and are the only Canadian team to not sell out every game.

St. Louis

Last month there were several of us that speculated St. Louis was off due to the Cardinals playoff run but that was for October as November proved to be just as daunting. I looked at opponents and Day of the week and there was nothing that stood out. There were two Thursday games (Calgary and Colorado) that drew under 15,000 compared to their normal 18,000+ they were averaging in years prior for Thursday games in November. They had 3 Saturday games in November that were roughly 5% off their average. Any theories?

ST Louis byGamenumber

Here is the Illustration on days of the week for St. Louis for October and November games

St Louis game of the week

Here is how the Blues games have stacked up to the averages against those same opponents of the last 5 years: STL Matchups

Only the Nashville matchup stands out as “out-performing”.

Phoenix

I know there are a lot of people out there that are convinced that the NHL cannot work in Glendale. Two months don’t necessarily prove long term sustainability but you have to be impressed with what the new ownership group has done in such a short period since purchasing the team. Coyotes are up an impressive 21% compared to October and November of 2011. Last month the Coyotes had 2 of the top 5 biggest games for November since the Coyotes started playing in Jobing.com arena.

PHX by day of the week

Top 5 Games in Attendance during November since Jobing.com opened:

Coyotes top November games

Columbus

There was some press last week on the Blue Jackets poor gate performance to date but the reality is they are up 3% through November compared to October and November of 2011. However, they were down 3% if you isolate November. Here is a look at the Blue Jackets Seasonality.

Columbus by month

Final thoughts

I know this isn’t perfect since this is reported attendance and not butts in seats but it is consistently reported this way over time and it is all we have. Attendance is one component but there are price points to consider as well. I.e. the Islanders might have 25% lower attendance than Ottawa but the Islanders average ticket price is 55% higher and therefore bring in more revenue. Secondary ticket markets and ticket giveaways make this tough to nail down but attendance is up rather broadly and that should be considered positive for the league.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

UPDATED: 9:20 PST on 12/5/13

I received several questions on Dallas and what is driving the spike. For one, it’s not sustainable. October and November of 2011 were brutal months for Dallas and it was right when they transitioned to the new owner so I imagine there wasn’t much Sales and Marketing going on before the season. We should expect to see decent growth in Dec, Jan and Feb but it might taper off.

Here is the seasonal month by month view of Dallas Attendance over the last 5 years.

DallasStars by Month

Arena progressing and potential NHL ownership group in town

UPDATED 11AM PST: Check the bottom of the post.

Chris Daniels teased us for about 24 hours when he tweeted that he would have an exclusive interview with Hansen to get an arena update and talk NHL first scenario.

Remember – after #MNF, tune into KONG or KING5 for the exclusive interview w/ Chris Hansen on the #SeattleArena status…

— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) December 3, 2013

…and then Daniel’s teased us hockey fans more with this one:

Here is a link to the King5 Video that eventually was posted: http://www.king5.com/sports/Chris-Hansen-Were-waiting-for-the-right-opportunity-234175161.html

Ok let’s recap the video:

  • Chris Hansen says arena is progressing & he is optimistic on working with the new city council member and mayor
  • Dow Constantine (King County Executive) says in a nonchalant manner that the MOU will probably need an addendum to lead with NHL
  • Chris Daniels mentions that potential NHL investors were in town and if that isn’t enough, read the quote from the article:

“a source who was in the meeting, says NHL legend Jeremy Roenick was in Seattle on Monday, along with an investment team, to discuss an expansion franchise and working with Hansen. It is believed Roenick wants to be the “front man” for the NHL franchise. He made an attempt to be part of a group to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle earlier this year.”

I’ve always thought that one of the biggest hurdles locally would be hammering out an agreement with Hansen and the potential NHL group. From the cities perspective, the first tenant should not matter as long as the terms remain the same. Being that Hansen made the intro of Bartoszek/Lanza Group to the Mayor & JR was rumored to part of that group, I think it is relatively safe to say that discussions appear to be going well on the Hansen-NHL group front.

It looks like JR is fitting in well: http://instagram.com/p/hcsFd6PTB2/#

11AM Update:

Apparently JR is part of a separate ownership group interested in brining a team here, not the Bartoszek/Lanza group that we has allegedly part of in June 2013 as part of the Coyotes “Plan B”. This is probably a good thing to help our odds with the team. Now they have two groups that are potentially bidding on Expansion team and Hansen now has two groups that he can try to come to terms with on his side of the deal. How this ends up is anyone’s guess but I for one would be ok with either ownership group. There is no way JR is a principle investor here so who those other parties are remain to be seen. Hang on boys and girls, this should get interesting.

Here is Aaron Levine’s tweets on the matter:

Levine

October NHL Attendance

With this first month of the season wrapping up on Thursday, I figure it would be a good time to revisit one of my favorite topics of NHL attendance.

Let me state this up front, the purpose of writing this up is not to determine who could be a relocate target. Anyone that has been here and has followed me on twitter and the facebook know I’ve never advocated for relocating the Coyotes to Seattle. I am a fan of the game and believe it can survive anywhere. The analysis, commentary or any other narrative below is not intended to slam any team, owners and most importantly the fans. It is simply analysis on data that is reported for every game. Calling out Phoenix, St. Louis or Florida is only because they have some of the most volatile attendance and therefore provide more interesting data to review.

League Wide:

  • 11 teams have seen increase in attendance from October 2011 compared to 4 teams with a drop.
  • Average Attendance is up 2% against October attendance of 2011.
  • # of Saturday games in October was down from 54 games in 2011-12 season to 46 Saturday games this season. This is important because teams that do not sellout every game tend to draw 5 to 10% higher with a Saturday game. The reason for the lower # of Saturday games is because 2011 had five Saturdays in the month versus four in 2013.

DOW Graph

Team Specific:

  • Dallas, Phoenix, Columbus & Los Angeles are all up double digits % wise compared to October 2011.
  • Dallas is up a big 56% thanks to stable ownership. October 2011 was a time period where the team was going through the bankruptcy process.
  • Phoenix is up an impressive 17% under the new ownership group that was stabilized over this last summer. (Soap Box time: this could be the worst axe grinding article I have ever read. The owners had less than 4 months to ramp up with a plan and the writer points to Halloween night as an example of how they are doing? Poor reporting if you ask me.)
  • Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida & St. Louis are the only franchises down compared to October 2011. Ottawa & Tampa Bay are still averaging over 18,000 a night which is better than half the league.
  • 16 of 30 teams have sold out every game through October.

teambyteamOctober

Note Buffalo and New York Rangers are down slightly but that is only because of Arena modifications that lowered overall capacity. (Correction: Buffalo did not have arena modifications. They are down 2% since October 2011.)

Here are a couple other cuts at the data that tell some interesting stories.

Coyotes

Coyotes- by Game numnber

Coyotes-DOW

Coyotes are out performing October 2011 on Tuesday and Thursdays but lagging on Saturdays. You can chalk that up to the matchups, Edmonton games draw poorly in Phoenix. Coyotes also had a tough scheduled game with Nashville on Halloween where they only drew 7,400 people which was the lowest attended game for the year. That was the only game under 10,000 compared to 4 out of the first 7 games of 2011-12 that were under 10,000.

All in all, the Phoenix attendance story should be viewed as very positive. Florida on the other hand is really performing poorly. In spite of some favorable opponents (for Attendance sake) they are really having a tough time drawing fans. Below is the table that shows how Florida traditionally draws against the opponents they faced in October. With the exception of Pittsburgh, all games drew less than they have in either of the last 2 years.

FLAOpponent TableOne thing that I should point out is that Florida tends to draw the best in December and January so the table above might have several December and January games to compare.

Florida Attendance 2013

As a whole, the NHL had a great October and it will be interesting to look if the momentum continues and the impacts to the new division alignment and scheduling.

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. There is a lot of data to comb through and could bore people to death with my analysis so thought I would stop before I do.

Canadian impact on Mariners Attendance

by John

Long story short but I met a friend outside of Safeco on Tuesday night right around first pitch of the Mariners-Jays baseball game. He was running late so I was loitering around for about 15 minutes. I always knew that a lot of local Canadians would go check out the Jays when they came to town but I really figure that it was similar for every team (i.e. Michigan folk check out the Tigers, Bostonians check out the Red Sox, etc.) As I was waiting for my friend, I was shocked at how many Toronto shirts were going through the turnstiles. If I could venture a guess, it seemed like 60 to 70% of the people going in were Jays fans. Realistically, I know 60 to 70% wasn’t really possible for an out of town team but I noticed and wondered how I validate that observation. I’ve often mentioned to people that there sure seems like a lot of Canadians live in the area but have never been able to validate my theory.

Wednesday evening, I started to look at some Mariner attendance data. I went back 5 years and got game by game data so I could compare like games to Toronto’s games. The first thing to point out is that Monday through Thursday games average 30% less that Saturday or Sunday games. Here are how the last 5 years of Mariners have shaken out by day of the week:

Mariners attendance by Day of the Week

Toronto comes to town every year and has only played mid-week series (opposed to Weekend Series) over the last 5 years and only in 2011 have they come to town twice (both times that year they played Monday – Wednesday). When we isolate the Blue Jays games these are how the numbers look:Mariners and Blue Jays attendance by Day of the Week

As you can see the Blue Jays are a big draw for the Mariner’s compared to other games on the same day of the week. Over the last 5 years, the Jays have drawn 23% over average attendance for Mon-Wed games. This year they drew 52%, 74% & 79% higher for their Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday games. MatchupsThe Mariners-Blue Jays Tuesday and Wednesday games were the highest attended Tuesday and Wednesday games of the 2013 season. Monday was only the second highest Monday game attended…with opening day the highest attended Monday game of the year.

Digging deeper: Excluding interleague play, only the New York Yankees have drawn more fans than Toronto on Mon-Wed games. As you can see from the table to the right, Cubs & Atlanta have drawn better than Toronto over the last 5 years. Those teams have only played one series in the last 5 years and there is a novelty factor in trying to see all teams in the league.

I think this proves my point here, there is a huge impact on attendance when the Toronto comes to town. This is a mix of Canadians in the area as well as our brothers and sisters from Vancouver making the trek. I would love to know what % is coming from where but until the Mariners turn over their database to me, I don’t think it is going to happen.

To wrap it up, I looked at the top 10 highest attended Monday through Wednesday games over the last 5 years and remarkably, Toronto has 3 out of the top 10 but when you remove the 3 opening nights that fell on a Monday, Toronto had 3 of the Top 5. I knew Canadians would often attended the Blue Jays games but I never expected the impact could be so significant. With 7 Canadian NHL teams coming through Seattle a year, plus BC and Alberta teams coming through multiple times, we are looking at a guaranteed 10 sellouts a year which is already more than 8 teams in the NHL. This will be a distinct business advantage an NHL franchise in Seattle when comparing themselves to other teams because Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and even the Leafs do not draw well on the road in most US markets. The Canadian impact could be a lot bigger than any of us could have predicted.

Top10 Most attended Mon-Wed Games

NHL Attendance through Feb 9th

I posted the following tweats today and thought I would post them here for anyone that didn’t catch them in their timeline or are Tweeters.

Through yesterday’s games compared to like games last year #NHLAttendance is up 5% #whatlockout

Only 3 teams have lower attendance this year: Leafs -1%, Rangers -5% and Blues -8% TOR & NYR reduced capacity & sold out every game

3 teams have 20% increase or more in 2013. Stars 94%, Devils 22% & surprise…Coyotes 23% Lots of room to improve over last year.

Next biggest increases YoY Attendance, Kings 19%, Panthers 16% & Hurricanes 15%

Columbus Bluejackets attendance is up 8% #NashWho

All Canadian teams continue to sell out every game. As does Bos, Buf, Chi, SJS, NYR, Pit, Was

The Nashville Predators & Tampa Bay Lightning have sold out every home game this year 3 for NAS, 6 for TBL

Bottom line is that NHL Attendance is up across the board. The St. Louis Blues are the only team that has a legitimate decrease year over year through their home games. Greate to see the Stars, Blue Jackets and Coyotes increase their attendance but they did have the biggest opportunity to improve. The Coyotes still hav ethe lowers average attendance in the league with 12,349 & Columbus is 3rd lowest with 14,047.

What is one of my posts with out graphs? Well I am glad you asked:

NHL Attendance thru Feb 9th