Blackhawks' price of success

The price of success for the fans is always a bit of a sticking point for NHL fans, and with the Blackhawks now being the new hotness in Chicago, owner Rocky Wirtz is doing something his father “Dollar” Bill Wirtz would surely have been proud of. The Blackhawks are raising season ticket prices for next season a whopping 20% according to Chris Kuc.

In a letter sent to those holding season tickets, the Hawks announced that the average price for seats for the 2010-11 season will increase by 20 percent. The largest increase will be for the most inexpensive seats (6 percent of the tickets), which were raised from $12 to $20 (67 percent).

Nothing like taking advantage of a fanbase that cares again, right? For some, like NHL super agent Allan Walsh, the angle of supply and demand isn’t missed but Walsh also notes that teams aren’t exactly playing nice with the fans and their wallets either and used Twitter to say as much:

The 2004-05 lockout had nothing to do with making game affordable for fans, the line was used by NHL because it struck a cord with ave. fan

Obviously you have to keep in mind that this is coming from a player agent that’s always looking to get a little bit more money from teams for his clients, but there’s a metric ton of truth to what he says. A lot of what the NHL did say after the lockout was meant to win fans back over and affordability was a major issue and still is in a lot of markets.

Chicago, incidentally, ranked out as 18th among the 30 NHL teams as far as ticket prices went this season. That 20% raise should help the Blackhawks rise in the salary standings next year much the same way as their team on the ice has of late.


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    Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

    Mike Condon, John Moore,
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    If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

    The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

    After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

    If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

    Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

    Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

    Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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    If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

    “Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

    The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

    Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

    With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

    Measuring stick stretch begins

    Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

    This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

    It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

    In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

    Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


    Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

    It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

    His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

    These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

    Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

    Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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    Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

    Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

    It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

    Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.