Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/24/05 at 03:43 PM ET
Doug MacLean sighs at the end of the phone when asked how he feels when time and time again his Columbus Blue Jackets get lumped with Florida, Nashville, Carolina, Anaheim and Atlanta as markets that may struggle mightily coming out of the NHL lockout. "It irks me to no end," says the Jackets GM. "And I've said it on more than one occasion to the ones who have said it. It just seems to be an easy name to throw in that mix. It's out of ignorance is what it is. It's a lack of knowledge of what's really going on in our market." If ticket sales are any indication, the Jackets remain a hot item despite the year without hockey. The club is sitting at over 12,000 season tickets, with 70 per cent of the holders keeping their full investment on their account during the lockout. The Jackets averaged 17,376 fans per game at the 18,136-seat Nationwide Arena in 2003-04, including 16 sellouts. They've sold out 95 of their last 138 home games. "People who say they want to get rid of Columbus, that's just frustrating," says Jackets centre Todd Marchant. "They've obviously never seen a game there or else they would never dream of thinking that. "When we get a Pittsburgh coming in on a Wednesday night and we sellout or close to, that says it all."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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