Monday, December 22, 2014

Flyers' fans forgiving, sales show

Since the 113-day lockout ended Sunday, the Flyers have sold more season tickets than were canceled during the lockout, according to Shawn Tilger, the club's vice president of business operations.

Flyers' fans forgiving, sales show

Flyers fans. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Flyers fans. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

Flyers fans forgive quickly.

Since the lockout ended Sunday, the Flyers have sold more season tickets than were canceled during the 113-day work stoppage, according to Shawn Tilger, the club’s vice president of business operations.

Tilger did not have the exact sales figures immediately available.

Do the ticket sales mean he’s not concerned that the fans have soured because of the lockout?

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“I wouldn’t say not concerned, but I’m just saying it shows the loyal fans we have,” Tilger said. “We have the greatest fans in hockey.”

According to ESPN, the Flyers averaged 20,433 fans per home game last season, placing them third in the 30-team NHL. Because of standing-room tickets sold, they played to 107.4 percent of capacity, tops in the league.

The largest crowd of the week _ an estimated 300 fans _ nearly filled the team’s Voorhees practice facility Friday as they watched the Flyers’ informal practice.

Peter Luukko, the Flyers’ president, said the team is considering several events for the fans this season, including the chance to watch a practice at the Wells Fargo Center.

 “Our fans,” Luukko said, “have been unbelievably patient.”

Hartnell: G ready for C. Scott Hartnell said Claude Giroux has all the qualities to be named the Flyers’ 19th captain.

“He’s our best player. He’s a competitor,” Hartnell said. “If everyone played with half as much heart as him, we’d all be fine in here. When he talks, guys listen, obviously. I don’t think you could pick a better guy in the team right now than G.”

Giroux, who will turn 25 on Saturday, is expected to be named the captain before the season opens on Jan. 19 against the visiting Penguins.

Giroux, bothered by a neck injury last month, has not skated the last two days.

Defenseman in plans. The Flyers are interested in signing unrestricted free agent Kurtis Foster, a 6-foot-5, 226-pound defenseman who apparently has recovered a fractured collarbone suffered in Finland in November.

Foster, 31, who played for Anaheim, New Jersey and Minnesota last year, would give the Flyers a cannon point shot on the power play. While with the Devils, he scored a pair of power-play goals in a Feb. game against the Flyers last season.

Schedule. The NHL is expected to announce the teams’ schedule on Saturday, but league sources have confirmed some of the highlights involving the Flyers.

The Flyers will open the season next Saturday against visiting Pittsbirgh, then will play the next day in Buffalo at 12:30 p.m. Both games are on NBC.

Call the Flyers "America's Team."

The Flyers’ third game will be in New Jersey On Jan. 22. They will play seven games in the firt 12 days.

 All told, the Flyers will play five games each against the Rangers and Devils, and four games each against the Penguins and Islanders.

 As for trips to Canada, the Flyers will play in twice in Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg, and once in Ottawa. They will play twice in Tampa against the Lightning, and ince in Sunrise, Fla., against the Panthers.

 Less partying. The Flyers will play 48 games in 99 days.

“You’ve got to stay focused, not go out and party because there's no time to recoup,” Hartnell said.

 Breakaways. The Flyers will not practice Saturday....Training camp opens Sunday in Voorhees, and the Flyers have the ice from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's free and open to the public....Kimmo Timonen on getting ready for the season: “Persoanlly, Ive got to say I lot of work to do to get in game shape,.”

Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

 

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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