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Chelios doesn't want to hang them up
When it comes to longevity in professional sports, Chris Chelios has to be one of the best examples of what one can accomplish with hard work and determination. The 47 year old former NHL defenseman is making a comeback, signing with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
In my opinion Chelios has accomplished everything a pro-hockey player could want. He's played in a ton of games, won the Norris Trophy multiple times as the best defenseman and won multiple Stanley Cup championships. But he still has enough passion for hockey...to ride the buses in the AHL. Good for him.
2009 NHL ticket price trends
The North American economy is not in shambles, but its also far from booming. Unemployment is high in both Canada and the United States, the stock markets are still trying to lick its wounds and people in general are living with some level of economic uncertainty.
With this backdrop, it was interesting to see the 2009 report Team Marketing report (.pdf)
on ticket prices. On average, ticket prices have stayed the same. It probably shouldn't come as a surprise to Torontonians to see that the Maple Leafs lead the way when it comes to price hikes, with a 10% increase. The current Stanley Cup champs, Pittsburgh Penguins are second with an 8% increase.
The Washington Capitals are off to a blazing start, scoring 10 goals in the opening two games. I realize that this is VERY early in the season, but the Capitals team has some impressive (young) offensive stars. In their game this past Saturday, the Caps simply outclassed the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring 6 goals. But this game also showed the potential achilles heal of the young team - inconsistent defensive play. The Leafs were able to make a game of it in the third period, but the offensive skill of the Capitals was clearly apparent.
Olympics, NHLPA in disarray, Mike Modano and more
- NHL players may not be participating in future Olympics, at least those that are outside North America. In a recent interview, Gary Bettman shared his views on why it makes little sense to disturb the NHL regular season Olympics that wouldn't showcase the game and league in prime time. This will prove to be an interesting point during the next contract negotiations with the NHLPA.
- Speaking of the NHL Players Association, this organization is once again looking to salvage its image as an association in total disarray.
- Mike Modano starts his 20th NHL season with the Dallas Stars (counting when they were the Minnesota North Stars). In the age of free agency, you have to tip your hat to Modano and the Stars for showing this commitment. He's had a superb career and benefited from his time in the legaue, as have the Stars.
NHL kicks off 2009-10 season
The 2009-10 NHL regular season kicked off tonight with four games being played. Among them is one in Denver, Colorado where NHL great Joe Sakic
saw his number 19 raised to the rafters of the Pepsi Centre. The Maple Leafs also played tonight; taking on the Montreal Canadiens in Toronto. They blew a 3-2 lead late in the third period to lose to the Habs in overtime. The drama in Phoenix continues to be a distraction for everyone. This week has been no different as bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum rejected both Jim Balsille and the NHL's current bids to buy the dwindling franchise.