Rick DiPietro, John Tavares

NY Islanders are expected to cut season ticket prices

It’s not often that the concepts of supply and demand are laid out as clearly as the differing directions in ticket prices between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders.

While the Flyers are using the NHL’s rising salary cap as a reason (or excuse?) to raise season ticket prices, Chris Botta reports that the Islanders are likely to acknowledge the last few defeat-heavy seasons by lowering theirs.

(The team provides a guide to next season’s ticket prices as well as the different perks and benefits season ticket holders can expect for the 2011-12 season.)

Islanders tickets holders will have a good idea of the price drops and changes from this season to next, but Botta translates them in this post.

  • The recent 20% reduction of over-the counter prices, instituted after the Islanders’ early-season swoon took them essentially out of the playoff race by early December, is likely to remain in place for the 2011-12 season.
  • Season ticket pricing plans will be significantly discounted. Contrary to a theory posted here on Saturday night, it does not appear the franchise will ask buyers to put down money early this spring in order to get the best prices. Good.
  • After seeing their benefits reduced over the last few seasons, Islanders full season subscribers can expect a menu of highly creative and enticing goodies to choose from if they renew or sign up.
  • Additional fan-friendly ticket plans and promotions are also in the works.

The Islanders have been dealing with a mostly down last few years, especially this season – including the way they interacted with Botta himself. The organization seems like it’s flailing in the wind a bit being that it seems like the Lighthouse Project in shambles, but earning back the hearts of its remaining fans would certainly be helpful.

While the team remains in the NHL’s cellar, there have been signs of life in Long Island here and there. Perhaps the Islanders can make it tougher for fans from Quebec to storm their barn next season by courting potential new (or returning) fans a little closer to home.

It’s not like they have much of a choice, anyway.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.