NHL 2014 News and Updates
3/4/14 - If you're not happy with the way your NHL team is looking, patiently wait until tomorrow. With just one day before the March 5 trade deadline ensues, many teams will have a new-look to them and one of them could be yours! Ryan Miller was just moved from the Sabres to the St Louis net, and many more trades are expected to follow suit. From prized NY Islanders captain Thomas Vanek being eyed by the Kings and Penguins, to Martin Brodeur's uncertain situation (though he will start in the Devils' next game), Ryan Callahan's struggles with contract demands and Ryan Kesler perhaps shuffling to the Pens from Vancouver, expect some big names to be making some big moves soon. The trade deadline can make or break a team stuck in the middle of the playoff race: the Ducks, Blackhawks and Blues are lining the top three, followed by the Avalanche, Sharks, Penguins, Bruins and Kings as top contenders. Get NHL tickets now as the season kicks into high gear with just about 20 games left for each team!
2/28/14 - The Olympic break is over and NHL teams are back at it. The division leaders are Boston in the Atlantic, Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan, St Louis in the Central and Anaheim in the Pacific and the race for all the playoff spots is on. Highlighted games this week include the Coors Light Stadium Series game between Pittsburgh and Chicago on March 1st (featuring live music performances from Plain White T’s and Blues Brothers tribute band Blooze Brothers), NHL Heritage Classic between Ottawa and Vancouver on March 2nd (will feature live performances from Sarah McLachlan and Tegan & Sara), Colorado vs Chicago March 4th, Toronto vs NY Rangers March 5th, Pittsburgh vs San Jose March 6th and Pittsburgh at Anaheim on March 7th.
2/18/14 - The USA Hockey Team is busy setting Sochi ablaze with perhaps the most exciting athletic competition the Olympics have seen thus far, with shootout king T.J. Oshie and goalie Jonathan Quick being crowned American heroes after an exciting game against Russia. While players overseas are gearing up for the Quarterfinals, the NHL is getting ready to resume the regular season: teams are holding practice for players not participating in Sochi starting Wednesday. Score NHL tickets for the final eight weeks of play and witness the exciting race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Get ready for the wild card race to heat up, with the Red Wings' previous berth in contention by the Blue Jackets, Senators, and Capitals who all trail by just one point in the Eastern Conference. In the West, the Stars are looking to end their Cup drought, but they're spot is in jeopardy, tied with Phoenix (who holds the tie breaker) and a single point ahead of Vancouver.
There are just over 50 days left before the regular season ends (4/13), so things will move fast next week, as NHL players come home to face grueling schedules and the impending March 5 Trade Deadline (rosters are frozen during Olympic break). As typical every year, many teams are looking to add depth at the center position, while Thomas Vanek & Andrew MacDonald (Islanders), Ryan Miller (Sabres), Ryan Callahan (Rangers) Martin Brodeur (Devils) and Mike Cammalleri (Flames) are prospective players to move. The biggest upcoming NHL events are the Chicago Blackhawks-Pittsburgh Penguins game at Soldier Field on March 1 (the final installment of 2014's Stadium Series), and the Vancouver Canucks-Ottawa Senators game a day later for the Heritage Classic. NHL play will officially recommence on Feb 25, with a Carolina Hurricanes-Buffalo Sabres game in New York to break the 16-day hiatus (tickets are offered at a $26 minimum). The most notable injury to an NHL player during the Olympics has been to Sweden's and Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg (herniated disk), which has caused team owners to vocalize disdain for the League's participation in the Games.
The 2013-14 NHL regular season started October 1, 2013. The new season brought a realignment of the league’s 30 teams with the creation of the Metropolitan Division and elimination of the Northwest, Southeast, and Northeast Divisions. The purpose of the NHL realignment was to reduce team’s travel and geographically map divisions so that they were in the same time zones. The Eastern Conference is comprised of 16 teams while the Western Conference has two fewer. Most notably, the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets moved from the West to the East, Winnipeg jetted over to the West, and with four divisions (instead of six) a new playoff berth format.
The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin April 16 after the 1,230-game regular season concludes. The top three teams in each division will earn an automatic bid to the postseason with the next two highest-placed teams (based on regular-season points and regardless of division) in each conference earning a wild card spot. A total of sixteen teams will compete in the elimination tournament that consists of four rounds (First, Divisional Championship, Conf. Championship, Stanley Cup Final), all a best-of-seven series. The team with home-ice advantage, hosts Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.
Additional changes to the 2013-14 season include more outdoor hockey games and elimination of the NHL All-Star Game due to the 2014 Winter Olympics and two-and-half week break. Back in the same division, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play in the sixth annual 2014 Winter Classic (originally scheduled for 2013) on New Year’s Day in front of a record crowd at Michigan Stadium. The NHL Stadium Series is made up of four outdoor games in 2014 – one at Dodgers Stadium, two at Yankee Stadium, and one at Soldier Field. The final outdoor game will played March 2; the Heritage Classic at BC Place will feature the Canucks and Senators.
2014 NHL tickets averaged $158 entering the season. The reigning Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks boasted the most expensive ticket in the league at $393 and the Anaheim Ducks owned the cheapest, averaging a mere $71 at the Honda Center. Midway through the season, the average price of NHL tickets for remaining games was $130, and the most expensive teams in the NHL were: Toronto Maple Leafs (avg. $379), New York Rangers (avg. $320), and Chicago Blackhawks (avg. $317).
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