The Florida Panthers are a struggling franchise that hasn’t made the NHL playoffs in nine years, so the organization is trying to boost lagging attendance in a number of creative ways. One way is to offer “priority” for playoff tickets to people who buy a four-game plan, and if the team misses the postseason again (the team’s only one point out of a spot) they’ll get free tix to four games next year.
(Another big night for hockey in South Florida)
It’s actually a pretty good idea, but once you hear about a promotion that already didn’t work, it’s unlikely that any amount of ingenious marketing is going to save this team. Last night, all you had to do was show up at a tent outside the arena and you’d get tickets … free tickets. They still couldn’t fill the place.
For many hockey fans, the league would never - and could never - be the same after the Hartford Whalers skated out of town and became the Carolina
Generics Hurricanes. Gone was the kitsch of a small-market team with one of the best logos in pro sports history, and in its place was just another franchise in a market with all the tradition, character, and charm of your local Applebee’s.
(Best logo ever? No, that’s the 1980s Milwaukee Brewers. This is #2.)
But according to the HARTFORD COURANT, the dream may not be dead, as Mayor Eddie Perez and the city are in talks with commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL about bringing a franchise back to the city. There’s no indication that they’d bring back the Whalers name, but there’s no talk that they wouldn’t, either. Hey, if the Cleveland Browns can do it (and this is the only time you ever want to do something like the Browns), then why not the Whalers, eh? But unsurprisingly, there are hurdles to be leapt: