Panthers president addresses lightly attended preseason game


Florida Panthers executive Michael Yormark reached out to Puck Daddy to explain the widely mocked attendance for Monday afternoon’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators, which still requires this shot for context and a little shock value:

source:  Again, this photo comes via Erin Brown (Fox Sports Florida)

Like Brown said earlier, Yormark told Puck Daddy that the main function of the exhibition is for scouts to evaluate talent rather than for fans to fill the building. He admitted that “the day game attendance is not as high as we would like,” but described the doubleheader as a “unique opportunity for our fans.”

The most interesting tidbits came when the outspoken front office member said that ticket sales are generally looking up, at least compared to the abbreviated 2013 campaign.

“ … However, in no way does today’s attendance reflect our expectation for the upcoming season,” Yorkmark wrote. “In fact, we fully expect an opening night sellout, our new full season equivalent ticket sales are up 41-percent over last year and we also expect the 2013-14 season to be the fourth consecutive year in which we see an average home attendance increase at the BB&T Center.”

That 41-percent mark might be a little misleading because of the likely damage that came from the lockout, yet it still is a nice figure for Florida to point to.

Does any of this totally erase the embarrassment of such a scant crowd? Probably not, but it doesn’t seem like the Panthers were completely shocked by sparse attendance of an exhibition with little selling power, either.

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: