Pre-Game: 6:30pm LeafsTV
Broadcast: 7:30pm LeafsTV
Post-Game: 10:30pm LeafsTV
Opposition Coverage: Litter Box Cats
Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009, 7:30 PM EST
I didn't realize that Jacques Martin was so haunted by the playoff beatings he took at the hands of the Leafs. He's been the Leafs most willing trading partner probably in the belief that if they even just touched the Maple Leaf they can help his team. So far, it's proven true. Belak added toughness in his short stint, Kilger provided some mystery, and Bryan McCabe has actually played some decent hockey. Turns out all that fat bastard needed to turn things around was for people to not know there was a hockey team in town.
The Leafs will be doing one of their annual pro bono trips to Florida this week. In exchange for two points the Leafs agree to provide the Panthers and Lightning with a sold out building. Of course, the Panthers don't play the Leafs every night so they've had to become creative with their marketing:
Basically, the team is saying if you buy a four-game pack of tickets to this year's playoff run and the team doesn't make the postseason, you score four freebies next year.
Which you can probably parlay into tickets for 2010-11 if they don't make the playoffs again next season. It could be the gift that keeps on giving!
Apparently the marketing group worked on the deal with the Panthers' coach directly so it looks like it's just another way for him to demand performance from his players. I like the promotion since it's the kind of thing that these struggling non-hockey markets need to be doing to expose as many people as possible to their product. The better part of this offer is that it does not, as too many Thrashers' deals to count have, punish season ticket holders for buying the entire season.
But you can bet the Toronto folks in town tomorrow are going to get a whiff of this promotion and have themselves some fun with it.
It is no secret that the fan base in Sunrise is minimal, at best. Florida has had 24 home games so far this season, and rank 26th in the league in average attendance, with just under 15,000 tickets sold per game, but are dead last in percentage of seats filled. Even with $17 "total ticket" offers every game, which include 1 ticket, free parking, $5 gas card, and a Coke combo meal, people just are not coming to the Bank Atlantic Center for hockey. Granted, the Panthers have not been putting a product on the ice worth coming out for in past seasons, but this year has changed that. Pete DeBoer has changed that, and he is not content just changing the attitude on the ice. Now, he is going after the attitude in the stands, and keeping this latest promise to the fans could go a long way in creating an actual market for hockey in the sun of South Florida.
Personally, I'd love for Antro to show Burke that not only does he want to stay in Toronto but he is the kind of player that should be kept. Clearly, Burke would love a 6'6" centre with soft hands that uses his size to his advantage. However, Antro has to learn that using that size is more than just keeping defenders away from the puck. He needs to be punishing the opposition. Not to mention Antro needs to cut down on the dumb penalties. After breaking a sixteen game goalless streak and putting together goals in three straight game Antro is back on the cold list.