SBD/June 22, 2012/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Sabres Achieve Goal Of Fewer Back-To-Back Games Next Season

The Sabres have averaged 20 back-to-backs per season since the team was founded
The Sabres achieved their goal of "playing fewer back-to-back games with Thursday's release of next season's schedule," according to John Vogl of the BUFFALO NEWS. The Sabres, who have "led the NHL in back-to-backs since 2005-06, will have just 11 such sets next year." It will be the "fewest ever for the club, which has averaged 20 back-to-backs per season throughout its existence." The Sabres did it by "giving up most of their traditional Friday night home games." The team's "healthy season-ticket base and run of sellout crowds have made the move away from Fridays possible." The team stacked up Friday dates "to try to attract fans, especially following the 2003 bankruptcy, but with the building nearly full before individual tickets even go on sale, the team can afford to host games during the week and not experience a significant drop in attendance." The Sabres also are "changing the start times for their Friday contests." All weekday games will start at 7:00pm ET, "a half-hour earlier than the previous Friday puck drop" (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/22).

WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND: In Denver, Adrian Dater notes if the Avalanche play a full 82-game season in '12-13, nearly "half of its home games will fall on weekend days." That could "boost attendance for a team that finished 23rd in the NHL last season and 24th during" the '10-11 season (DENVER POST, 6/22).

FLYING HOME: In Philadelphia, Frank Seravalli notes for the Flyers, the "first 33 games of the schedule set up quite nicely, with 18 home games and not a single road game out of the Eastern time zone." An OnTheForecheck.com report indicated that the Flyers will travel the "fewest air miles (27,541) of any team in the NHL this season -- a whopping 2,500 miles fewer than the next closest team, the Islanders." Dallas, at 49,851, will "spend the most time in the air" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/22).

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