NHL Franchise Notes: Canucks' Mike Gillis Under The Microscope After Firing Coach
In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger notes the Canucks yesterday fired coach Alain Vigneault, so now it "all falls on the lap" of President & GM Mike Gillis, who "could -- if the team doesn't improve, should -- be the next one to go." It is Gillis who "ultimately dropped the axe on Vigneault." Zeisberger: "The spotlight now shifts solely to Gillis. As it should" (TORONTO SUN, 5/23).
GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH: In Detroit, Bill Shea noted Red Wings fans are "selling their playoff tickets for more money than they did for earlier games in this round, but they're going for less of a premium in Detroit than in Chicago." TiqIQ Senior Dir of Data & Communications Chris Matcovich said that the average home ticket price "on the resale market for this round in Detroit is $234.31, which is nearly 25 percent below the entire series average of $311.70." He added that the "most expensive ticket available at 20,066-seat Joe Louis Arena now is $1,300." Face value of the playoff tickets "is $62 to $227" for games at the arena (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 5/22).
SUCCESS EQUALS SALES: The AP's Rusty Miller noted the Blue Jackets after "playing the best hockey in franchise history down the stretch ... have enjoyed an upsurge at the box office in recent weeks." The team said that it has seen a 13% "improvement in season-ticket renewals from one year ago, when the Blue Jackets were coming off perhaps their worst season in the NHL and sold around 7,000 season tickets." The team has sold "almost 1,000 new season-ticket plans including fans who upgraded to larger packages" (AP, 5/21).
SECOND FIDDLE: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes under the header, "New York Is No Hockeytown." N.Y. treats the Rangers "the way ESPN treats the NHL." Among winter/spring sports, "basketball rules in this town, even if the local team was eliminated five days ago." The N.Y. tabloids "have been full of Knick stuff this week." It is "impossible to have a hockey culture in New York City." The people who "live and work here did not grow up breathing Zamboni fumes." N.Y. can "never be Toronto, Detroit ... or Boston" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/23).