Devils Slip To 27th In League Attendance, But Team Brass Not Panicking
The Devils have "slipped to 27th in the NHL" in attendance at 14,604 fans per game, the "lowest for the team since 2006-07, when the Devils were a lame duck playing at Continental Arena in the Meadowlands," according to John Brennan of the Bergen RECORD. But Devils President of Business Operations Hugh Weber "isn’t exactly panicking." Weber noted that attendance "is down less than 800 fans per game from 2011-12, the last full NHL season." Weber added there used to be “a lot of high-discount, volume tickets, and we’ve stopped that strategy.” This also is the "time of year that franchises focus on season ticket renewals." Weber said, “All things being equal, we should be in a much better position next season because of our season ticket base." Weber said while team execs have looked “section by section” at ticket prices, "in general, ticket prices will be flat” in '14-15 compared to this season (NORTHJERSEY.com, 3/6).
OH, GOD! YOU DEVIL: In New Jersey, Tom Gulitti notes the NHL on Thursday announced that it has "reduced the penalty it assessed the Devils for circumventing the salary cap" on former LW Ilya Kovalchuk’s rejected contract in '10. The Devils were "due to surrender their first-round pick this year to complete the penalty." Instead, the Devils "will pick 30th (last) in the first round of the 2014 draft regardless of where they finish in the standings." Additionally, the NHL will return $1.5M of the $3M fine the Devils "paid as part of the punishment." The Devils "eventually signed" Kovalchuk to a 15-year, $100M deal on Sept. 4, 2010. But Kovalchuk “retired” from the NHL and walked away from the final 12 seasons of the contract last summer (Bergen RECORD, 3/7).