By Luke Vermeer
The NHL has announced the cancellation of 61 pre-season games. as the lockout nears the end
of its first week.
All scheduled games before Sept. 30 have been cancelled, including the 15th annual Frozen Fury on Sept. 29 between the LA Kings and Colorado Avalanche in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand hotel.
Also among the cancellations is the annual Kraft Hockeyville exhibition game, which was to be
played in the town of Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario on Oct. 3.
James Mirtle, hockey columnist for the Globe and Mail, said the game is important for the
“It’s pretty disappointing for those smaller communities.” Mirtle told Humber News.
“It’s a big deal for the city to have NHL players there and to play those games,” he said.
“Kraft Hockeyville has become a big deal,” he said, “and for those kids who were planning on going and those families that were planning on going that’s going to be sort of a black mark on the NHL for not getting the lockout settled in time to save this game.”
Rodney Cooney, mayor of Stirling-Rawdon, told the Ottawa Citizen that the cancellation of the
game is proving tough for the community.
“I’ve been talking about this for a month, what a kick in the pants it is,” Cooney said Tuesday.
The cancellation of the games also has a monetary impact on the teams.
Mirtle said that the financial impact of the pre-season is often overlooked.
“The one thing that doesn’t get talked about very much is that pre-season hockey for the NHL
makes them a considerable amount of money,” said Mirtle.
“Even though it’s pre-season and even though the prices are lower, the NHL makes quite a bit of money off those.”
Ben Wright is the former Senior Coordinator of Websites for the Atlanta Thrashers said on his twitter explained that while employed by the team he was told that each preseason game was worth $400,000 in revenue.
I once asked why the Thrashers didn’t try a free preseason game to draw new fans. I was told preseason stillbrought in $400,000 per game.
— Ben Wright (@BenWrightATL) September 19, 2012
Naturally, everything ever said by Thrashers management should be taken with a shaker of salt.
— Ben Wright (@BenWrightATL) September 20, 2012
While 61 games have already been cancelled, the NHL has not yet thrown in the towel on the
entire pre-season. All NHL games after Sept. 30 are still scheduled pending the lockout ending.