As reported by Sean's Ramblings,
by way of Greg Wyshynski,
the Capitals are now charging $15 extra for their two "home" games against the
Penguins at the Verizon Center next season.
To clarify things, according to Sean's Ramblings, should you buy individual tickets to this game directly from the team, it will cost you $15 more because it's considered a "premium" game. If you have season tickets with the Capitals, you get to keep your $15 which will allow you to get two burritos at that Chipotle inside the "phone booth."
Having been to three of the last four Penguins' "home" games in Washington the past two seasons, we understand why the Capitals are doing this. The amount of Penguins fans in the arena for all of those games was staggering. And we have to assume it had to somewhat embarrassing for Capitals fans and officials.
The straw that probably broke the camel's back was the March 9 contest between the two teams that lots of folks remember best for Nicklas Backstrom's "goal:"
If there was a time for the Capitals to show they were playing in a real hockey town, this was it. A high profile rival was in town. The game was nationally televised on NBC. The Capitals were making a desperate push to reach the postseason. And they had the best player in the sport scoring goals at a pace the league hasn't seen in over 10 years. This was their moment to shine.
And Penguins fans, from Pittsburgh and Washington D.C., took it away from them.
They didn't exactly take control of the Verizon Center, but
we'd estimate at least 40 percent of those in attendance that day would back
Sidney Crosby in the seemingly endless Crosby-Ovechkin (or is it Ovechkin-Crosby?) debate.
The Capitals claim they're doing this to keep those ugly purple seats filled with red jerseys. Seeing how involved the team's owner Ted Leonsis is with operating his team, we can believe that motivation somewhat. But let's get real.
Leonis didn't become rich by thinking solely with his heart. He's a businessman. The Capitals have increased ticket sales for the upcoming season, but these two games against the Penguins will be one of the few occasions a Capitals game will be the event in a busy city. He's going to strike when the iron's hot.
So yeah, getting those tickets might be a little tougher than they have been the past three seasons. But considering how many tickets were available on StubHub and other ticket broker sites for the March 9 game, Capitals season ticket holders will probably be more than willing to help you again in 2008-09.
Considering how loyal some of their "fans" are, you can't blame the Capitals for going down this path. Other teams like the Sabres have already taken this route. And before you point a finger at the Capitals in scorn, ask Red Wings fans about how tough it was getting tickets for Stanley Cup final games at Mellon Arena.
(Photo: Gary Cameron/Reuters)
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Penguins prospect Robert Bortuzzo will be out at least a month due to a shoulder injury.
-The Penguins will hold a prospect camp beginning Sept. 9 in Kitchener, Ontario.
-Jonathan Bombulie of the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice takes a look at the camp's roster.
-The Wheeling Nailers acquired defenseman Elgin Reid from the Elmira Jackals in exchange for forward Steve McJannet.
-Penguins prospect Casey Pierro-Zabotel (that name will be fun to live blog if he ever makes the team) is one of four players vying for three "over-aged" rosters spots with his junior team, the Vancouver Giants.
-Eddy Spaghetti is wondering if wearing a Jaromir Jagr jersey is officially considered a throwback.
-Flyers forward Simon Gagne is ready to play and drown puppies after suffering from concussion problems last season.
-The Canadiens unveiled they logo they will use to commemorate their 100th season.
-The Sabres dropped the prices of their exhibition games.
-Senators defenseman Luke Richardson still wants to play.
-Former Thrashers defenseman Mark Popovic will play in Russia next season.
-Who's the best Panther of all time? Personally, we're appalled by Bill Lindsay's absence on the list.
-Do the Canucks need a new entrance song?
-Former Penguins defenseman Ross Lupaschuk will get a tryout with the Anaheim Ducks. Lupaschuk was one of three pieces of trash "prospects" the Penguins acquired from the Capitals in exchange for Jaromir Jagr in 2001. Since the lockout that wiped out the NHL's 2004-05 season, Lupaschuk has played for several teams in Europe.
-James Mirtle examines goal-scoring.
-The Ferraro twins, Chris and Peter (both former Penguins) are expected to rejoin the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL.