Although not everyone can be swayed to welcome the NHL back with open arms and open wallets, teams are doing their best to show their fans appreciation for sticking around.
Today, the Pens announced that for the first four home games (schedule to be released following the final ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by the Players Association on Saturday morning), fans will receive:
3 Vouchers for select concession stand items
50% off all merchandise at Pens Gear both at Consol Energy Center and the South Side Works locations during all four games
Free T-shirts on opening night
This is in addition to prizes that will be awarded to fans via contests on their website and social media outlets. (Example: tickets to a game at Madison Square Garden including air fare and hotel.)
All things considered, this is extremely generous. I was at CEC for the Three Rivers Classic two weeks ago and one trip to the concession stand for my son and I cost $29…for 3 items. $30 in food is nothing to scoff at, especially considering that this will go on for four nights.
There are also rumors about major discounts at Shop.NHL.com for the coming week.
Not everyone is pleased with the offers teams are making. While the Tampa Bay Lightning may be able to offer season tickets for $200 to the first 200 fans, this is not feasible or even reasonable for all teams. The Penguins have a waiting list thousands deep. The Lightning, Blue Jackets, and other teams struggle to fill seats most nights. Getting butts in the door needs to be done by any means possible. Teams such as the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers sell out nightly.
The point here is that hockey is back and we didn’t lose an entire season. It’s time to drop the puck and enjoy what the season will hold.
For Pens fans, we can look forward to one of the most reliable and possibly dangerous goalie tandems the Penguins have had in quite some time. Word from the Pittsburgh media from inside the Penguins’ informal skates at Consol this week is that Brandon Sutter looks sharp and ready to go. Crosby has been skating with his old line mates, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis- both of whom are coming off of career seasons. Tanner Glass, acquired from Winnipeg in free agency, will more than be able to fill the hole left by Arron Asham and will bring some grit to the third and/or fourth lines.
This coming week, Pens training camp will be open to the public at CEC every day. I will be there at least one day with Chris Dazen, whom will be contributing to the site this season. You can also look forward to posts from Meghan Herlihy (you may know her from our friends over at The PensNation).
Next week, #SheroBucks will return in a more concise and orderly fashion. Details to follow this weekend regarding sign-ups, game rules, and prizes.
The Flyers are making a play for every free agent with their bottomless money pit and Toronto is already making people do this:
Let’s Go Pens!