Staples Center suite

Expert: NHL giving companies great excuse to cancel season tickets


If the NHL assumes ticket sales won’t be affected by a season-long lockout, it may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

So says Tony Knopp, CEO and co-founder of Spotlight TMS, a company that helps other companies maximize their investment in sports and entertainment tickets.

Knopp argues that the economic climate is far different today that it was in 2005 when the NHL emerged from its season-long work stoppage.

“This is very different,” Knopp tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Since 2008, I would say that one in every four customers we talk to, somebody internally is telling them that they have to drop their tickets. I know (the NHL and its teams) are saying, ‘This is what happened after the last lockout, this is how much business you can expect.’ My argument is that’s not going to be the case this time.

“These guys are already looking for a way to get out of sports tickets, and now they’re just giving them bullets to shoot themselves with. The reality is, once budget gets cut, you don’t just add budget overnight. You have to justify why doing business with the St. Louis Blues is better than not laying off these three people. That’s an awful difficult fight to have post-2008.”

Of course, 2008 was the year the global recession started. Today, the economy is still a major concern, and if companies see an opportunity to cut an expense, they’re going to seize it.

Corporate season-ticket holders comprise a significant chunk of any team’s ticket base. They also tend towards the premium seats and luxury suites.

Image via Private Suite Network

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.


Detroit places Datsyuk and three others on I.R.

Pavel Datsyuk,
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The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.

Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.

The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.

Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.

DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.

The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.

Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.

Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.

As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.

“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”