Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/01/13 at 06:58 PM ET
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadiens have been announcing sellout crowds at each of their home games, but for the first time in more than a decade you can walk up to the Bell Centre box office on the day of a game and buy a ticket.
There have been pockets of empty seats at each game, but they could be explained by looking at the fistful of tickets scalpers were holding before last Sunday’s game against New Jersey.
“Too many games too close together,” one scalper complained.
Attendance across the league has been strong, even in some of the non-traditional markets. Twenty-one of the 30 teams are reporting capacity crowds or better, and that list includes Florida, Anaheim and Nashville. Carolina and Dallas are at 96.3 per cent of capacity and the New York Islanders are at 97 per cent. Columbus continues to struggle with nearly one-fifth of its tickets unsold, while the Phoenix Coyotes are drawing a league-low average of 12,406 fans. That represents 72.4 per cent of capacity and the Phoenix numbers are inflated by a rare sellout on opening night.
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