Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/04/05 at 08:20 AM ET
Nobody knows how the Sharks would have fared in the season that wasn't played, the first in a major sports league in North America to be wiped out entirely because of a labor dispute. But it's tempting to wonder. And they'll have most of the key components in place when their regular season opens Oct. 5. As it turns out, they'll also have the great majority of their fan base with them. Of the season ticket-holders from 2003-04, 90 percent have renewed, slightly more than the club expected, says Malcolm Bordelon, the Sharks' executive vice president of business operations. With more than 500 new season ticket buyers, the club will have 11,000 in all, surpassing the 10,750 it had when the Sharks won the 2004 Pacific Division title, although shy of the 13,200 it had in 2002-03. Despite the anger of many Bay Area hockey fans over the work stoppage, the Sharks improved their season ticket numbers by not playing.
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