Monday, August 11, 2008

Playing preseason in strange places

My guess is that the NHL will set a new record in exhibition for the most games played outside of league cities:

Boston vs. Montreal, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m.
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis, at Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center), 8 p.m.

Boston vs. NY Islanders, at Moncton, N.B. (Moncton Coliseum), 6:30 p.m.
Buffalo vs. Montreal, at Roberval, Que. (Centre Sportif Benoit-Levesque), 7 p.m.

Calgary vs. Phoenix, at Winnipeg, Man. (MTS Centre), 8:30 p.m.

Boston vs. Detroit, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m.
NY Islanders vs. Philadelphia, at London, Ont. (John Labatt Centre), 7 p.m.

Florida vs. NY Islanders, at Summerside, P.E.I. (Summerside Wellness Centre), 6 p.m.
Colorado vs. Los Angeles, at Las Vegas, Nev. (MGM Grand), 10 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. Eisbaren Berlin, at Berlin, Germany (02 World Arena), 10 a.m.

NY Rangers vs. SC Bern, at Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena), 12 p.m.

NY Rangers vs. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, at Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena), 1:45 p.m.

Pittsburgh vs. Jokerit, at Helsinki (Hartwall Arena), 11:30 a.m.
Ottawa vs. Frolunda, at Gothenburg, Sweden (Scandinavium), 1 p.m.

Los Angeles vs. San Jose, at Salt Lake City, Utah (E-Center), 9 p.m.

Anyone attending games in these markets?



At 2:14 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

How come everyone goes to Halifax (2 games!) and Saskatoon gets 1 exhibition game in 15 years? Seriously, there's at least 1 exhibition game in Halifax every year, and this year they get two? Plus one game in Moncton and one in Summerside... Summerside? Are you kidding me? They'd never have an NHL exhibition game in Portage La Prairie, Camrose, or Humboldt.

Those Maritimers are spoiled rotten.

At 2:14 p.m., August 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully the court will allow Boots Del Biaggio III to travel to the Kansas City game.

At 2:52 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:53 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger freeze said...

That game in Vegas should be an interesting experiment. Gary must still have a hard on for expansion.

At 2:59 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger Mark Pargas said...

Any exhibition game in Las Vegas pales in comparison to the one the Kings and the Rangers played OUTSIDE back in the early 90s. Very little humidity in Las Vegas in late September, so a good ice plant and some CO2 extinguishers (perfect for instantly freezing any quick patch work or for making a case of hot beer instantly ice cold)will get the job done. That game was also marked the introduction of the Hrudey cam.

At 3:36 p.m., August 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That game in Vegas should be an interesting experiment. Gary must still have a hard on for expansion.

They've actually held that game annually for the past several years (at least 10 by now). I think they call it "Frozen Fury". I went one year, suprisingly good crowd.

At 3:45 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

It would be awesome to see that Pittsburgh vs. Jokerit game in Helsinki

At 5:40 p.m., August 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to see a Habs-Bruins exhibition matchup in Moncton a couple of years ago, and the play wasn't bad, but $56 is just a foolish price to ask for preseason games, particularly in the Maritimes. Total ripoff.

At 5:56 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I think the amount of money they can pull out of people is why they have so many games in places like Moncton. The Canucks used to have one in Kamloops when they held training camp there and the prices were astronomical.

At 6:37 p.m., August 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be at the Sharks-Kings game in Salt Lake. I also attended a preseason game between these two teams about 10 years ago. It was the first year the Kings switched to their purple-and-black jerseys.

And yes, it's horrible to try and follow hockey in a market where the NBA team dominates the headlines year-round.

At 6:37 p.m., August 11, 2008, Blogger kevincrumbs said...

Scandinavium? Hilarious name for an arena.

The Sharks used to play up here in Portland, Oregon every year in the late 90s/early 00s. In fact, the Wild's first ever game was here in town. However, attendance was pretty poor but so was promotion. I'd love to see another (reasonably priced) exhibition game here.

At 9:28 p.m., August 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scandinavium sounds like one of the more unstable, radioactive elements. :)

At 11:43 p.m., August 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live in TO but am planning to attend the SLC game - should be interesting...

At 2:28 a.m., August 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go to the Vegas game every year- This is the 11th straight season (excluding the lockout) that the Kings have played a "home" game at the MGM Grand. The game always sells out, largely because it's an excuse for Angelinos to come to Vegas for the weekend.

Kings fans are always much more fired up at Frozen Fury then they are at Staples, anyhow. Must be the free drinks.

At 4:33 a.m., August 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frozen Fury is usually the best weekend of the year for Kings fans. It's pre-season so we still have hope. We're in Vegas, and we're drunk!

Been going since Frozen Fury 4

At 10:36 a.m., August 12, 2008, Blogger Andy Monet said...

I'm gonna watch NYR-SC Bern and NYR-Magnitogorsk in Bern, Switzerland. That's easy, 'cause I live in Bern...

I'm quite excited about that. It's nice that the NHL is coming to my place, to my city, so I don't have to travel overseas... This is gonna save my a lots of money and I'll be able to attend my first "NHL-Game" ever. Love it!

At 1:46 p.m., August 12, 2008, Blogger Scotty Hockey said...

Anytime the 'Jets' are back in Winnipeg its special - if only as a lovefest for Shane Doan, one of the NHL's underappreciated superstars.

As for me, I have tix for the Rangers games in Switzerland, I am just trying to afford the travel there ... and to Prague (if they Rangers make tix available for those two, which they haven't).

At 2:05 p.m., August 13, 2008, Blogger The Proprietor said...

We have the Wild affiliate, the Aeros, in Houston. Why don't all the NHL teams play at least one pre-season game a year in their AHL affiliate's stadium? You could do it two ways: 1. a double-header, with the big club playing another NHL club, then two AHL teams squaring off, or 2. The NHL team playing against the affiliate in a game.

This would not only be a likely sellout in towns that NEVER see NHL players, but would also strengthen the perceived "bond" between the NHL team and the affiliate.

It might spark fans to not only pay a little more attention to the AHL club and come back for a game or two in the season, but it might also start them to following the big club, in this case, the Wild, more closely.

The NBA already does this, and most NFL teams hold unofficial scrimmages and joint-team practices at their training camp sites, many of which are these "backwater towns."

People can't go to your games if you don't give them a chance to. And these are the kind of potential fans that don't care that the stars only see a couple minutes of ice-time in an exhibition. It's the overall experience they'd be paying for. Put NHL hockey (even sorta-kinda watered down preseason flavored) in front of virgin eyes, live and in person, and I guarantee you'll make some new fans.

At 11:01 p.m., August 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about a game in the great city of Hamilton?


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