Former Washington Capital Mike Knuble didn’t say anything incredibly alarming about DC hockey fans on Philadelphia radio today. According to a transcription from the Washington Post’s constantly-transcribing Dan Steinberg, Knuble was asked what Philadelphia is like as a hockey market and he replied:
“It’s great. You talked about New York and Boston, I mean, it’s just tradition. Being a Flyers fan, being with the Flyers is passed down from generation to generation. Washington, everybody’s a new fan. Nobody’s from there really, they’re kind of just jumping on the bandwagon. But the cities like Boston, New York, Philly, Detroit, it’s like my grandfather was watching, my grandfather was a fan, he passed it to his son, then he passes it to HIS son. It’s all the way down.
That statement’s not the end of the world. And the four cities Knuble mentions are bigger hockey towns than DC; three of them are Original Six teams that date back to the 1920s and all four have won multiple Stanley Cups. There’s a lot of hockey history there.
But I will say this as a lifelong Caps fan and a native of the DC suburbs: My Maryland-born dad, whose parents were also Maryland-born, passed his love of hockey down to me and took my family to Caps games as a kid; to say we became huge fans feels like an understatement (this is a good excuse for me to link to one of my favorite Steinberg posts ever). I then passed my love for the Caps along to my now-five-year-old, hockey-crazy son, who has a Knuble jersey, a puck and stick he got from Knuble (the guy has always struck me as the epitome of class act) and a Knuble autographed picture in his room. I had to take some time to think about how to break it to him that Knuble was no longer a Cap after last season.
That makes three generations rooting madly for the Caps, a team that’s about the same age as I am, the middle of those three. And the DC area absolutely does have a ton of residents who aren’t from the region originally. But my family is far from the only one who can share a story of Caps tradition like the above, so let’s put an end to the untrue, blanket statements like ‘nobody’s from DC’ and ‘everybody’s a new fan.’ While I understand why they exist, these broad generalizations have grown tiresome and just keep creating more of the same talk.
- Flyers bring back veteran winger Mike Knuble (cbc.ca)
- Kentwood’s Mike Knuble Accepts Tryout with Detroit Red Wings (fox17online.com)
Our guide to tonight’s AHL Showcase between the Hershey Bears and the Norfolk Admirals at Verizon Center in Washington, DC is simple. It’s in the tweet below and we hope you’ll spread the word. There are downtown businesses and arena workers affected by the NHL lockout that could use the dollars. Enjoy the hockey! And please pour a little money into the local economy too if you can.
One more thing: As tweeter @Sdunn2984 pointed out today, there is a toy drive for the Salvation Army at tonight’s game. “The Capitals will be accepting donations at the F Street Entrance to Verizon Center starting when doors open at 6 p.m.,” according to the team’s website. “The first 1,500 fans to donate will receive a commemorative Adam Oates Hall of Fame poster. The Capitals, GEICO, Comcast SportsNet and The Salvation Army urge all Caps fans to donate at least one new, unwrapped toy for a deserving child this holiday season.”
- Leaving the NHL off the holiday list (brookslaichyear.com)
- As NHL lockout continues, AHL surges forward as attractive alternative for hockey-starved fans (calgaryherald.com)
- As NHL’s latest lockout lingers on, a basement hockey league goes overseas (brookslaichyear.com)
- Hockey fans find ways to get their ice fix (Gazette.net)
Last week, I noted unusually low ticket prices for a Caps game, as they were facing the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at Verizon Center and 400 level tickets had dropped to $15 that afternoon on StubHub. I waited until just before 5 p.m. that night and ended up getting tickets for $8.99 each; this was for 400 level tickets that had a face value of $55 a piece. So I basically got five seats for what one would cost at face value—it’s not often you can do that for a Caps game. Granted, the team hasn’t been playing well lately and is missing some star players, but this was two days after the team had reclaimed first place with a big win at home over Florida, and before the recent losses to the Rangers and Sharks.
Looking at the team’s upcoming schedule on StubHub*, the current prices and the inventory available there, there could be some more bargain nights ahead for Caps fans looking to attend a game without spending as much as it usually takes. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get $8.99 tickets when a team like the Flyers come to town next month but—if you’re willing to go on a week night and see an opponent that’s either not near the top of the standings or a Southeast Division team that the Caps face multiple times a season—there will likely be some deals to be had. There were even some tickets available this past Monday afternoon for under $20 on StubHub for that night’s game against the San Jose Sharks, a good team that doesn’t come to town that often.
In order to get the best possible prices, keep an eye on the list of Caps home games on StubHub and wait it out until the day of the game if you can. On game day, prices can drop quite a bit as people look to dump their tickets for whatever they can get. The day of the Caps-Jets game last week, the lowest priced ticket on StubHub went from $15 at around 4pm down to $8.99 when I bought them just before 5pm. If you’re going to try this approach, it’s important to note that StubHub stops sales two hours before game time.
Here are the upcoming games that look like they have a chance at getting fairly inexpensive:
On Tuesday, February 28, the New York Islanders come to town. There are a little over 1,700 tickets available on StubHub and the cheapest seat is currently $21.
The Carolina Hurricanes visit on Tuesday, March 6 and tickets start at $27 right now on Stub Hub, with more than 2,000 available.
For Thursday, March 8, there are more than 2,000 tickets available on StubHub when the Caps host the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the cheapest tickets are currently $29.
There could be some other games to keep an eye on after that, like when the Jets visit again on March 23, though that’s a Friday and those games sometimes don’t get as cheap as Tuesday games, for example. The Sabres visit on Tuesday, March 27 and then Florida comes to town on Thursday, April 5. That’s the final home game of the year and tickets are only $26 right now. Whether prices for that game against the Panthers go up or down from here could depend a lot on what the playoff picture looks like as that date gets closer.
* I don’t mention the Capitals TicketExchange because there seems to be a floor below which a ticket’s price can not be sold there. From what I’ve seen, it appears buyers looking for the lowest overall price are better off using StubHub.
- Why StubHub Is Still Relevant (pandodaily.com)
- Keeping your Caps tickets out of the hands of the opposing team’s fans (mikeholden.wordpress.com)
- ‘Lin-sanity’ doesn’t come cheap (projectspurs.com)
- Will the Washington Capitals’ home sellout streak end anytime soon? (mikeholden.wordpress.com)
- StubHub Founder: Don’t Listen To The So-Called ‘Experts’ (businessinsider.com)