Florida Panthers to use tarps to cover seats, save attendance

5 Comments

PartyCity-TarpsTS.jpgWhen you think of the Florida Panthers, your first thoughts probably center around how the heck a hockey team exists in South Florida. For many, their first thought goes to them being a losing team with struggling attendance. For those people, the Panthers have devised a plan for you. They’re going to cover things up. Not with crazy press releases but rather with actual tarp. George Richards of The Miami Herald elaborates.

As reported earlier this summer, the Panthers are ‘downgrading’ the capacity at The Billboard this season, covering up more than 2,000 upper deck seats with tarps.

According to the team, the “22-piece tarp system sponsored by Party City will cover the last six rows of seats located on the terrace level.”

Tarps This coverage will not be for all games — but for almost all of them. When Montreal or Pittsburgh comes to town the tarps can be removed. They will also not be there for concerts and the like.

When the team moved from Miami Arena in 1998, seating capacity went from 14,823 in Miami to 19,250.

They obviously don’t need that much room.

“Our building is just too big,” team president Michael Yormark said back in May. “It would be too big for a lot of teams in the league.”

Knocking off that many seats now turns the Panthers arena in Sunrise, Florida into the third smallest in the league behind Edmonton’s Rexall Place and Nassau Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders. If you’re wondering, this isn’t the first time an NHL team has implemented the use of tarps so as to skew the attendance numbers/alter the appearance of the arena. Both the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning have used them in the past, although to their credit the buildings they played in at the time were cavernous. The Hurricanes played at Greensboro Coliseum and the Lightning played at current day Tropicana Field.

The upside of the tarp is that it helps make the attendance numbers not look terrible. The downside is that the tarp makes the inside of the arena look horrendous. At least the Panthers are getting a nice piece of advertising money out of the deal to help stave off some embarrassment.

(Photo: FloridaPanthers.com)

Calm, then storm: Penguins, Senators trade Game 7’s goals in 20 seconds

1 Comment

Here’s hoping that you didn’t take a poorly-timed break in the second period.

For much of Game 7, the Ottawa Senators have been able to slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, resulting in a contest that went scoreless for what sometimes felt like ages.

Chris Kunitz changed that, long after missing on a golden opportunity shortly after Mike Sullivan decided to put him on Sidney Crosby‘s line. Kunitz finished a nice rush play to make it 1-0 9:55 into the second. Check out that goal below.

Guy Boucher didn’t have to deploy “attack mode” very long, as Mark Stone stunningly tied it up 1-1 just 20 seconds later. That surprising tally can be seen in the clip above this post’s headline.

Who’s playing for Penguins, Senators in Game 7

Getty
3 Comments

We finally know the lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Pittsburgh’s tweaks are most interesting, which isn’t a huge surprising considering the consistent inconsistency bred by their injury issues.

The Penguins will get Conor Sheary and Justin Schultz back in the mix. Despite showing a lot of energy warming up, Patric Hornqvist isn’t good to go. Here are the full Penguins personnel notes; also realize that this is Matt Murray‘s birthday.

Ottawa places Chris Kelly back in, getting the nod over Tommy Wingels and Colin White. Kelly’s had some experience in these scenarios.

You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.

Sabres confirm signing defenseman Antipin; Is his KHL teammate Lee next?

Getty
Leave a comment

The Buffalo Sabres announced the signing of defenseman Victor Antipin* on Thursday, confirming rumors that surfaced more than once this month.

Antipin, 24, enjoyed a solid season in the KHL with Magnitogorsk Metallurg. Even so, the signing might be interesting if it serves as an appetizer for the Sabres bringing in Antipin’s teammate from Metallurg, Chris Lee.

On one hand, Lee is 36 and couldn’t make the jump fromt he AHL to the NHL in previous opportunities (most reently with the Penguins’ farm system in 2009-10). On the other, he had an eye-popping 2016-17 season in the KHL: 65 points in 60 games as a defenseman.

Lee’s previous numbers aren’t as outrageous, but still quite good, at least form a scoring standpoint.

While Lee’s possible addition is a situation to watch, there’s some excitement about Antipin.

“Victor is a well-rounded defenseman who has played in all situations at the pro level,” Sabres GM Jason Botterill said. “His mobility and puck-moving skills make him a perfect match for what we’re hoping to build with our defense corps next season.”

Granted, there’s some debate about his ceiling.

Still, for a Sabres team that badly needs help on the blueline, this addition – or eventually these additions – could provide a nice boost.

* – The Sabres’ releases feature his name spelled “Victor.” Other outlets, including hockeydb, have it as “Viktor.”

WATCH LIVE: Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – Game 7

Getty
1 Comment

Will it be the Ottawa Senators or Pittsburgh Penguins against the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final? We’ll find out after tonight.

Yes, it’s that time: a Game 7 to see who advances to the final round. The winner will also hold home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final.

Could Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson, and the rest of the Senators pull off an upset on the road, winning the franchise’s first Game 7? Can Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins give Matt Murray a birthday present with another Game 7 win?

Find out on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (series tied 3-3)

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream live here)

Check out the highlights from Ottawa’s 2-1 win in Game 6

Related:

Pretty or not, Sens aim to play their game vs. Pens in Game 7

Penguins prepare for another Game 7, this time as favorites

Modern-day Senators have never won a Game 7

It’s “reasonable” to expect Schultz and Hornqvist will play Game 7