Canadiens, Flyers Look To Thaw Lockout's Chill With Fan Freebies
More than 17,000 fans last night attended a free-admission hockey exhibition at Bell Centre featuring Canadiens and AHL Hamilton Bulldogs players. Many fans "braved the cold to line up outside," waiting for doors to open at 5:00pm ET. There were "long lines at the concession stands, not surprisingly, given the offer of a free hot dog, bag of chips and soft drink or bottle of water for each fan." The Canadiens are extending the same offer for Saturday's home opener against the Maple Leafs and during open-to-the-public morning skates that day (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/18).
The Flyers drew a crowd of 15,202 for last night's free-admission open practice at Wells Fargo Center, and that is "no surprise," as "big crowds have been attending at the practice rink in Voorhees this week." If fans "have any lingering bitterness over the 113-day NHL lockout, they certainly didn't show it toward the players." The Flyers were "routinely cheered throughout the 70-minute practice" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/18).