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NHL fans sold on proof, not potential

For NHL teams struggling at the gate, winning is an easier sell than hope.

Updated: September 3, 2003, 3:58 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Frustrated team owners often advocate firing the coach or signing a high-priced free agent in the offseason to help ring up sales at the box office. But this offseason in the NHL proved that, for the most part, winning is the most important marketing tool of them all.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are seeing a significant return from last season's surprise run to the Stanley Cup finals. Team officials are optimistic that more than 20 games will be sold out at The Pond this year -- compared to ...

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