NHL 2014-2015 News and Updates
6/30/14 - NHL Draft Day has come and gone, with 210 of the future’s brightest hockey stars dispersed among the 30 teams. It will be years until fans really get a taste of what these promising prospects have in store for the league, but the draft can easily be identified as heavy on the forwards in Round 1. In fact, 11 of the first 13 players, and 25 of the 30-pick first round, were skilled forwards. A chief exception was the No. 1 overall pick, Aaron Ekblad, a 6’3”, 213 lb defenseman that went to the Florida Panthers. The trade market was also bustling over the weekend, with two big names in the mix: Ryan Kesler went to Anaheim while James Neal was traded to Nashville.
Hockey fans are now holding their breath as the free agency period officially starts on July 1. There are numerous rumors flying around the league—namely concerning Paul Stastny, Thomas Vanek and Martin Brodeur, all of whom are scheduled to hit the market. Can’t wait to see all the players in their new homes and witness the league changes for yourself? Well, there’s good news for you eager ice hockey lovers, as all 30 NHL teams have released their upcoming regular season schedule. One highlight from the 2014-2015 season is the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Washington Capitals Bridgestone Winter Classic game. The season will kick off with four games on October 8, highlighted by the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings playing host to bitter adversaries, the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center. Don’t miss out on another top rivalry: the Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens on Oct 16 at Bell Centre. The season is slated to end on April 11 with 15 matchups. Lock in your NHL tickets early and ensure yourself the best seats in the house!
6/2/14 - While the start of summer breathes new life into the NFL, what with OTAs and full-team practices getting underway, there's also a darker side to the turn of the season. June 1st marks the first date that franchises are allowed to release two players early in the offseason, which gives them the option to re-sign with a better opportunity, and also allows the organization cash in on their signing bonus money remaining. This means a burgeoning salary cap is lying in wait for your favorite team. It is also the first day signing free agents does not affect compensatory picks (draft), so expect your team to be making roster moves shortly! Today is also the start of the NFL's locker-room-culture initiative in Atlanta. Each of the 32 teams will sit in on one-hour sessions looking to improve the workplace environment. Who said June wasn't a busy time for football? Get NFL tickets now and see if your team maximizes on summer deals!
5/12/14- Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs may have been exciting, but the league certainly hasn't kept the momentum going in Round 2! Get in on the 2014 NHL Playoffs for all the postseason excitement any sports fanatic needs! The NHL has revved up the action in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Eastern Conference has gifted hockey fans Game 7 heaven again, with both series (Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins) squaring off to settle who will play the conference final. Coming back from a 3-1 deficit, the Rangers stunned the Pens by taking two games back and now have the upper hand; able to eliminate Pittsburgh on the road Tuesday night. The Bruins proved to be their own worst enemy, and were shut out by the Canadiens Monday night (4-0); they'll return home to play Game 7 in Boston. The West showcases elimination scenarios as well, with pivotal Game 6 matchups slated for both the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings series. The Blackhawks visit Minnesota tonight looking for an elimination win, while the Ducks—on their third straight win—will look to crush the Kings at home on Wednesday. You have to get in on this epic postseason, score NHL Playoffs tickets today!
4/15/14 - The 2013-2014 season is in the books and the NHL awards have been dealt: the Boston Bruins were awarded the Presidents' Trophy for finishing with the most points and best record in the league, Patrick Roy was given the Jack Adams Award in his first year as head coach, Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar beat out Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Towes for the Selke Trophy, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon led all rookies with 63 points to take the Calder Trophy, Jonathan Quick won the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL, while Tuukka Rask led the league in GAA for the Vezina Trophy. Finally, though it wasn't much of a surprise, Sidney Crosby won the Hart Trophy with a distance of 17 points between him and runner up Ryan Getzlaf. Now, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set: there is no reseeding of the 16 teams (the postseason is now a set bracket), and divisional matchups take place in the first two rounds with an interspersal of wild card contenders (Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota, Dallas). The hottest match of the first round pits San Jose against Los Angeles in what is sure to be a knock-down-drag-out fight starting Thursday. The Boston Bruins are favored to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years, and begin their journey against Detroit. Get NHL playoffs tickets and see the best teams duke it out on the road to the Stanley Cup!
4/8/14 - Even though we're coming to the end of regular season play (final day 4/13), the NHL is still chock-full of action, so let's see if we can hone in on the playoff picture! Boston, St Louis, Chicago, San Jose, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Montreal and Pittsburgh and the Rangers are in, but what about the wild card spots? In the West, Minnesota's win last night clinched a playoff spot, effectively pitting the Coyotes and Stars (Dallas leads by one point with an equal amount of games left) in competition for the final spot. The Blue Jackets and Devils are in contention for the Eastern Conference's wild cards, especially if the Flyers don't clean up. Add to the mix the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals (with both coaches in the hot seat) and things are as up-in-the-air as ever in the East. Disappointingly enough, only one Canadian team (Montreal) is locked for the postseason, with Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver out (first time in 6 years). Get your NHL tickets to see your favorite teams duke it out in the league's last few days before postseason!
3/31/14 - With March at its end, the playoff picture is starting to look clearer than ever this season. A number of teams in the West have clinched playoff berths, most recently the Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche, though they are both falling victim to wear and tear. The Avs just lost center Matt Duchene for four weeks due to a knee injury; while Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have taken their fair share of beatings given the Blackhawks dropped four of their last five games. In the East, the Bruins finished their March schedule in stride, taking the Atlantic Division title and making 17 games in 30 days look like easy money. Boston and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the only Eastern Conference teams to have clinched a 2014 berth thus far. While there are no clinching scenarios for Monday night's games, there will be in the next couple days! Get NHL tickets now to see who gets in and who gets the boot!
3/25/14 - If there's one thing that's certain in the NHL, it's that March is no time for a meltdown. No team knows that better than the Maple Leafs, who were comfortable with their seemingly secure playoff position until a ghastly 5 game losing streak has them holding onto the final wild card spot by a rapidly fraying rope. Washington is one point and Columbus is two points behind Toronto, each with enough games in hand to send the Leafs reeling. On the other hand, a great March, like the 7 wins out of 10 the Philadelphia Flyers have posted (over very worthy opponents), have made them serious postseason contenders in the East. In the West, the Wild have pulled away from teams on their heels for the wild card spot. There are just a handful of games left in the regular season, score your NHL tickets now!
3/17/14 - We're in the homestretch of the season, with about a dozen games remaining before playoffs. The Western Conference is all but locked up, with the outstanding St. Louis Blues and the three California teams (Ducks, Kings, Sharks) dishing out some of the toughest hockey we've seen all year. Defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, have slipped off the pedestal in the last couple weeks (now behind the Colorado Avalanche), and have less than a month of action to get back into playoff form. The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins can be assured of their playoff status, and the Maple Leafs and Canadiens are also in favorable position, but outside of these teams, things in the East are far from certain. Every other team must be looked at with the wild card in mind and numerous teams on the bubble will be fighting to the death over the next couple games: out of the bunch, the Rangers, Flyers and Blue Jackets are the more promising hopefuls. This is the last month of regular season NHL play—get your NHL tickets now and see your favorite teams in-person before prices shoot-up for the postseason!
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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