The Washington Post

Morning Pixels: NHL fans and special deals

Maclean’s, a weekly magazine in Canada, took a look at what each NHL team offered in fan giveaways and discounts after the the lockout, and compared it to player’s salaries to determine the percentage of cost for each team owner.

In the days after the NHL lockout ended, teams rushed to offer special deals to fans to make amends. If the euphoria on display last week was any indication, much has been forgiven. But if teams truly want to satisfy fans after the protracted dispute, opening night giveaways won’t go far enough, says a sports marketer and former hockey executive. Cary Kaplan, the president of Cosmos Sports and a former executive with the Hamilton Bulldogs hockey team, says the flurry of discounts were an important gesture, but won’t provide the “sustained change” fans deserve after so many months of being deprived of the game.

According to their chart, the Caps only gave back 26 percent of what the players collectively earned, tying Tampa Bay for lowest in giveback percentage.

It’s not entirely accurate, as they only took into account the offer of no processing fees on tickets. They also only counted merchandise discounts offered online (of which the Caps had none), and not the discounts offered to fans in the team store, food and beverage credits for season ticket holders and the free concessions at fan events.

The magazine offered another solution for keeping disgruntled fans happy.

Players should be front and centre in that effort, says Kaplan. They should call season-ticket holders to thank them for their loyalty, or do more for fans on game days. “Why doesn’t every player sign autographs after every game? Why isn’t that mandatory?” he asks. “Kids don’t want free popcorn. They want to meet Phil Kessel. That’s the power these players and leagues and teams have.”

Good luck with that.



* As Ray Lewis prepares for the Super Bowl, the woman whose son was murdered in the stabbings in Atlanta visits her son’s grave for the first time.

* The Caps lost again, and are now the only team in the Eastern Conference without a point.

* Maryland women rout the Tar Heels.

* Tracee Hamilton examines the proper times to storm the court.



Looks like Nick Sundberg bought his mom a car.






Troy Brouwer, on the Caps’ losses:

“Embarrassing is almost the right term right now. Pathetic is probably a better one. You know, I feel bad for the fans. I’d like to finish a game with at least 50 percent of the fans still in the stands. Their reaction is completely warranted — booing us. We haven’t earned any respect. We haven’t earned any of their passion, their ambition. We’ve got to turn something around, and we’ve got to do it fast.”



Bryce Harper, meet Bryce Harper.

via @bryanharper45



The Wizards Power Pack entertaining at the Kids’ Inaugural Ball.



Caps at Devils, 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet. Timberwolves at Wizards, 7 p.m. on CSN-Plus. All TV/Radio listings here.



The Puppy Bowl starting lineup has been announced. I’m all in on Fitz. I mean, he just looks like a bruiser.

Fitz via


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