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The NHL Shift: Numbers and notes, 12/06/2013

A look at the past week in the NHL and a glimpse at what’s ahead:

The Numbers

104,173: That’s the Guinness World Records-certified attendance mark for a hockey game the NHL hopes to top at Michigan Stadium for the Winter Classic between Detroit and Toronto. The league office will be working with Guinness staff to verify the more than 106,000 fans they believe will attend the Jan. 1 game. The current record also was established at Michigan Stadium, for the “Big Chill at the Big House” between Michigan and Michigan State on Dec. 11, 2010.

2: As in, are two games too many for Yankee Stadium? Tickets went on sale two weeks ago, and plenty of seats remain available for the pair of games at Yankee Stadium during Super Bowl week that make up part of the NHL’s Coors Light Stadium Series. The Rangers play the Devils on Jan. 26 and the Islanders on Jan. 29. One challenge could be team performance: The Islanders are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, while the Rangers and Devils have hovered around the .500 mark so far this season. High prices also could be a problem: As of Wednesday night, it was not difficult to find eight seats together via Ticketmaster in the $198, $238, $288 and $308 price ranges for the Islanders-Rangers game.

23: Years ago on this date (Dec. 6, 1990) that the NHL granted “conditional membership” to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The action was made permanent two weeks later, when the franchise was approved by the Board of Governors, and the Lightning began play in 1992.

25: Number of years spent by Peter Luukko working with Ed Snider at the Philadelphia Flyers and Comcast-Spectacor. The run came to an end Monday, when Luukko resigned as president and COO. Snider could have been speaking for executives all around the NHL when he said of Luukko, “His passion and dedication are legendary in our industry.”

NHL “super shops” are open at Dick’s Sporting Goods locations in Lombard, Ill. (above); West Nyack, N.Y.; and Cranberry Township, N.J.
Total square footage of retail space of the three NHL “super shops” that have opened in Dick’s Sporting Goods locations. The shops, which are in West Nyack, N.Y., Lombard, Ill., and Cranberry Township, Pa. — suburbs of New York City, Chicago and Pittsburgh — are selling lifestyle apparel, jerseys, headwear, outerwear and accessories from league-licensed brands such as Reebok, CCM, ’47 Brand and Old Time Hockey.

10,074: Attendance for the Florida Panthers’ home game against Ottawa on Tuesday. That was the league’s second-smallest crowd of the season — Nashville at Phoenix on Halloween night drew 7,401 — and images tweeted by fans and reporters at the game suggested it was more “announced attendance” than “fans in attendance.”

Looking Ahead
Monday and Tuesday:
The NHL’s Board of Governors meets in Pebble Beach, Calif. Expect it to take the league’s owners about two seconds to approve the recently finalized Canadian media-rights agreement that pays the NHL C$5.2 billion over 12 years, beginning with the 2014-15 season.

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