Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/15/12 at 12:03 PM ET
from Chris Smith of Forbes,
After more than a decade of irrelevancy, South Florida’s hockey team surged back strong in the 2011-12 season. A flurry of off-season moves added 12 new players who helped the team take its first ever division title en route to its first playoff appearance in more than a decade. The sudden success rejuvenated what had been a moribund fan base, and the team averaged nearly 1,000 more fans per home game than the previous season. It has been a long time since the Panthers entered a season with a confident, well-rounded lineup and a fan base excitedly waiting for the puck to drop.
That’s why the Florida Panthers cannot afford to miss next season. The team must capitalize on its recent success, especially because it will now have to compete with LeBron James’ Miami Heat, which will play a full season this year. The Panthers are worth $162 million, ranking among the NHL’s least valuable franchises, and the team hasn’t generated a profit for more than a decade. A second successful season could begin turning the Panthers’ fortunes around, but losing the season entirely could threaten the team’s very survival.
And if you think competing with one popular NBA team is tough, try competing with two. That’s what the Los Angeles Kings have to deal with playing in the same city as the Clippers and Lakers. Like with Florida, a shortened NBA season and on-ice success ignited a fan base last season, with hundreds of fans were turning out just to watch the team practice.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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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