For no reason in particular (other than we’re tired of poring over the Oilers’ problems), here are the NHL’s attendance figures comparing last season to this one:
— Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, NJ Devils, NY Islanders, and Vancouver all hosted outdoor games last season, skewing their numbers upwards. So yeah, there should be zero concern that attendance for Blackhawks games is down. They still lead the league with an average of 21,517.
— In many markets where sellouts aren’t the norm, attendance has been known to increase once football season is over and the playoff races heat up.
— Dallas and Columbus have enjoyed good attendance bumps after breaking lengthy playoff droughts last season. Unfortunately, both the Stars and Blue Jackets got off to tough starts in 2014-15 and return trips to the postseason seem unlikely at this point. (Though both teams are playing better of late, so you never know.)
— Interesting that crowds are actually down for the Avs. You’d have thought that last season’s excitement would’ve helped their season-ticket base in a pretty significant way.
— Florida’s drop is the biggest, and it’s certainly eye-opening. Remember, however, that the Panthers have ceased the practice of giving away and/or deeply discounting tickets. We’d be more curious to know what Florida’s ticket-revenue numbers look like.
— Ditto for the ‘Canes.
— Arizona’s crowds are down. In a related story, the Coyotes will try to avoid their 10th straight home loss tonight against Edmonton.