Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/20/12 at 12:19 PM ET
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Bottoming out is not the end of the world. For many teams, especially in the NHL, it is the start of something better. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks used rock bottom as a launching pad to Stanley Cup championships. When a hockey team is truly awful, it gets the best draft picks and replenishes. Putrefaction fertilizes opportunity, provided there are smart people in place to manage the fertilizer.
The question is, what do the Blue Jackets market now? What do they sell? What is the pitch?
The 2009 playoff appearance, despite the sweep, stoked hope among fans. There was a bump in season-ticket sales. Then, the Jackets played poorly enough to get coach Ken Hitchcock, a future Hall of Famer, fired. Season-ticket sales fell off.
Last summer, the owner opened his checkbook, the general manager traded for an All-Star center, Jeff Carter, and signed one of the best defensemen available on the free-agent market, James Wisniewski, and there was another bump in season-ticket sales. Then, the Jackets played poorly enough — “poorly” does not even cover it — and there was a fan revolt.
If you know someone you never thought would give up a season ticket and did this spring, raise your hand. My hand is up. Both my hands are up. I need more hands.
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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