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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
NHL teams offer perks to win fans back

By Kristi Dosh

The 625 games lost during the National Hockey League lockout soured die-hard and casual fans alike. Since the lockout ended, the league and teams have been working to show fans their appreciation and try to lure them back for Saturday’s opening games and beyond:

•  The Florida Panthers will have a full team autograph signing following the game on opening night. Teams including the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers will have free T-shirts for all fans attending the home openers. Others like the Anaheim Ducks will give away player jerseys in “jersey off our back” promotions.

Bruins Fan
Jake Carr, 5, of Wilmington, Mass. holds up a sign during an NHL hockey scrimmage between the Boston Bruins and the Providence Bruins at TD Garden in Boston.
•  Many teams have opened practices and scrimmages to the public this week, with some even offering free concessions. The Boston Bruins offered free tickets for an intrasquad scrimmage and sold out in an hour and a half. The Philadelphia Flyers similarly saw the free tickets to their Thursday practice disappear. The Edmonton Oilers organized a “Shinny Mob” in a public park Sunday and had more than 1,500 fans show up with only a few hours’ notice -- so many that police had to temporarily shut the park.

•  On Friday, Flyers fans can attend the WMMR Countdown to Puck Drop Party from 8 p.m. to midnight. There will be prizes, a live band and drink specials for all fans wearing orange and black.

•  Season-ticket holders have been thanked in a number of ways by teams for leaving their money with the team through the lockout. The Los Angeles Kings hosted an event last weekend with about 5,000 season-ticket holders that featured autographs from current players and a chance to see the Stanley Cup in the locker room. The Minnesota Wild gave season-ticket holders who stayed through the lockout 10 percent interest on the canceled games. They’ve also offered those fans 20 percent off single-game seats purchased through Feb. 28.

Here’s a team-by-team rundown of discounts being offered on tickets, concessions and merchandise for each team’s home opener:

Anaheim Ducks
Tickets: Fans who purchase a ticket for the home opener will get a second game at 50 percent off.
Concessions: Season-ticket holders will receive a $20 food and beverage credit.

Boston Bruins
Concessions: Fans attending every home game in January will receive three vouchers for select food and beverage items.
Merchandise: During all January home games, fans can receive 25 percent off all merchandise at the Bruins FanShop and Fan Zones. Season-ticket holders will receive 30 percent off.

Buffalo Sabres
Merchandise: From now until the end of the home opener, all merchandise in the team store is 50 percent off.

Calgary Flames
Concessions: All food at the Scotiabank Saddledome including concessions, Avison Young Club, Saddleroom Grill, Dutton’s and club seats for the first two games will be 50 percent off.
Merchandise: All Flames merchandise at all FanAttic locations will be 50 percent off from the beginning of training camp through the end of the first home game.

Carolina Hurricanes
Tickets: Beginning today and continuing through 10 p.m. Thursday, fans who subscribe to the Hurricanes Watch email newsletter will receive an exclusive online code for 50 percent off opening night tickets.
Concessions: For the home opener on Jan. 22 and the Jan. 24 home game, fans can purchase hot dogs, popcorn and sodas from PNC Arena concessions for $1 each.
Merchandise: From now until Jan. 24, fans can receive 50 percent off all merchandise at The Eye team store.

Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks did not respond to requests for information.

Colorado Avalanche
Tickets: All season-ticket holders received four complementary tickets for the home opener. All other fans can receive one free ticket when they buy a ticket for the home opener. In addition, there were no online fees during the first 48 hours of single-game ticket sales.
Concessions: There will be discounts on concessions during the home opener, but details have not yet been announced.
Merchandise: There will be discounts on merchandise during the home opener, but details have not yet been announced.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Tickets: Fans who purchase a ticket to the home opener can get a second ticket of equal or lesser value for free. In addition, the team and Ticketmaster will waive convenience and online order processing fees for all online ticket purchases (for any home game) made between now and Jan. 21.
Concessions: All fans attending the home opener will receive a voucher redeemable for a free Pepsi product, hot dog and popcorn.

Dallas Stars
Tickets: Youth hockey team members receive a free kids' ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket for the home opener. Adult hockey league members purchasing an adult ticket can receive half off one additional adult ticket for the home opener. For all January and February home games, fans can receive two free kids' tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Detroit Red Wings
Tickets: The team and Ticketmaster will waive all transaction fees on single-game tickets purchased from 1 p.m. Thursday to midnight Friday. In addition, tickets for all home games will be on sale for $9 each at the Joe Louis Arena box office at noon on Saturday. Fans purchasing the $9 tickets will be limited to a maximum of four tickets and a maximum of four games while quantities last.
Concessions: There will be discounts on concessions during the home opener, but details have not yet been announced.
Merchandise: There will be discounts on merchandise during the home opener, but details have not yet been announced.

Edmonton Oilers
A spokesman for the team says there are surprises being planned for the home opener but declined to provide details.

Florida Panthers
Tickets: Season-ticket plans are being offered as low as $7 per game. Buyers of full season-ticket plans will receive a Panthers jersey.

Los Angeles Kings
A team spokesman says there are no plans for discounted tickets, concessions or merchandise for the home opener.

Minnesota Wild
A team spokesman says there are no plans for discounted tickets, concessions or merchandise for the home opener.

Montreal Canadiens
Concessions: Fans in attendance at the home opener will receive a free combo meal, which includes a hot dog, chips and a soft drink.
Merchandise: Fans will receive 50 percent off all merchandise at the Habs Zone boutique at the Bell Centre on Thursday and Saturday.

Nashville Predators
Tickets: For the second home game on Jan. 21, all educators, police officers, firefighters, nurses, EMTs and military personnel receive $20 off all lower-bowl and club-level seating and $10 off upper-level seating.
Concessions: Fans can purchase beer and soda for half off during the home opener. For the second home game of the season, fans can buy half-off beer and soda and $1 hot dogs courtesy of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.

New Jersey Devils
A spokesman for the team says there are surprises being planned for the home opener and that fans will begin to receive details on Thursday.

New York Islanders
Tickets: Fans can purchase tickets through the Social Media Ticket Sale for $30 for the home opener.
Merchandise: Fans who spend $100 in the team store on opening night will receive a free fleece ($60 value). Fans who spend at least $150 will receive two tickets to a future game ($170 value). Foursquare users can check in to unlock a special allowing them to receive a free T-shirt if they spend $50 in the team store.

New York Rangers
A team spokesman says there are no plans for discounted tickets, concessions or merchandise for the home opener.

Ottawa Senators
Tickets: Children 14 and younger will receive a free ticket to the home opener with the purchase of an adult ticket. Parking in Lots 5, 6 and 9 will be free for the home opener.
Concessions: Popcorn will be $1 for the home opener.
Merchandise: The team store will take 50 percent off all merchandise during the home opener.

Philadelphia Flyers
A team spokesman says there are no plans for discounted tickets, concessions or merchandise for the home opener.

Phoenix Coyotes
A team spokesman says there are no plans for discounted tickets, concessions or merchandise for the home opener.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Concessions: For the first four home games, each fan in attendance will receive three free concessions (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, nachos, popcorn, pretzels, salads and fountain drinks included).
Merchandise: For the first four home games, fans can receive half off all merchandise all day long.

San Jose Sharks
Concessions: For all home games in January, fans purchasing a main meal item at any main concourse or Comerica Bank Club food service station with fountain drink service will receive a free 16-ounce soda.
Merchandise: From now until Jan. 31, Sharks premier jerseys will be available for $99 (regularly $140) via the Sharks Store.

St. Louis Blues
Concessions: For the home opener, fans can receive a free Pepsi product, and hot dogs are buy one, get one free.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tickets: The team will pay all Ticketmaster fees on the first day of single-game ticket sales and on tickets purchased during Fan Fest. Season-ticket holders who stayed on through the lockout received two free tickets to the home opener.
Concessions: Season-ticket holders who stayed on through the lockout received “Forum Dollars” that can be used for concessions and merchandise during home games.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs did not respond to requests for information.

Vancouver Canucks
Merchandise: During the first three home games, all Canuck Team Store merchandise will be 50 percent off.
Concessions: During the first three home games, hot dogs, popcorn, nachos and soft drinks will be $1 each.

Washington Capitals
A team spokesman says there are no plans for discounted tickets, concessions or merchandise for the home opener.

Winnipeg Jets
Merchandise: All merchandise not already discounted in Jets Gear Stores is 25 percent off.