Jan 1, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT
The NHL may be aiming to break an attendance record today in Ann Arbor, but the crowds haven’t been so good this season in Sunrise, Florida, where the Panthers are averaging just 14,658 at the BB&T Center.
Team president Michael Yormark thinks the lagging numbers are partly a product of the schedule.
“Having seven games in October hurt us; it’s too much for us,” Yormark told the Miami Herald. “With the Olympic season, it’s not a balanced schedule. We just had too much inventory in October and I think things are going to catch up. We have a lot of big games left.”
The product didn’t help either, with the Panthers coming off a last-place finish in 2013 and starting the current season poorly.
There does remain optimism, with new ownership promising improvements through free agency. But like with Phoenix, the rest of the league will be watching Florida as it tries to build some positive buzz in a market that many don’t believe is a legitimate hockey one.
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 9
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 6
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 27
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 42
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 38
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 69
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)