Canucks and Beyond

Saturday Night Madness

10/23/2008 at 2:55pm EDT

Hockey Lollapalooza* or “Super Saturday” as the NHL is calling it, takes place this weekend. For the second time in history (the first being October 5th, 2005) all thirty NHL teams will be playing games on the same day.
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From the NHL, here’s a hodgepodge of trivia that will never show up on Jeopardy but that you’ll probably memorize like the lunatic hockey fan you are, anyway:

  • 275,000 fans will flock to arenas throughout North America Saturday to watch 600 players compete in 15 games
  • With the drop of the puck at the Pepsi Center in Colorado at 9:08 PM ET, 12 NHL games will be in progress simultaneously.

  • The coaches will bring a total of over 180 seasons of NHL head coaching experience to the 30 benches.
  • The age-difference between the oldest and youngest players both playing in the NHL on Saturday night is 24 years and 53 days. That would be Tampa’s Gary Roberts and Atlanta’s Zach Bogosian.
  • Of the NHL’s 67 officials (33 referees, 34 linesmen) only seven will have the night off. None of them are the guy you will be wishing had the night off.
  • It will require approximately 800 people, 300 cameras, 150 miles of cable and 150 replay sources to produce the 26 different broadcasts—including 16 telecasts in HD—that will comprise the more than 50 hours of game content and programming. In addition, 600 photographers will aim to capture every second of the nine hours of hockey in pictures.
  • On Saturday, fans are expected to consume more than 95,000 soft drinks, 37,000 hot dogs, 33,000 slices of pizza and 23,000 orders of nachos. In addition, they can be expected to purchase approximately 7,500 t-shirts, 3,300 jerseys and 3,000 pucks in the 15 NHL arenas open for business. (Recession? What recession?)
  • There will be no NHL games on Sunday, Oct. 26, marking the first time since November 21, 2001 that no games will be played in the midst of a season (excluding the Christmas break, All-Star break, Olympic break, and the days between the season opening games in Europe and the start of the North American part of the schedule).
  • 20 nations will be represented on the ice around the NHL Saturday night.

The last time all 30 teams played on the same day, the NHL set a record as a total of 275,447 fans attended the 15 games, an average of 18,363 per game and 98.1% of capacity.

The biggest crowd that night was in Tampa Bay… and that, my friend, is the answer to a question you are definitely going to get wrong while playing Trivial Pursuit one day.

___________________________

*Lollapalooza: The word dates from an American idiom of the early 20th century—originally meaning “remarkable or wonderful person or thing” [wiki]

**prepared with files from the NHL

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