With NHL arenas expected to be dark for a while in the wake of the league locking out its players, at least one junior team is planning to take advantage of the absence of pro hockey.
According to a report in the Vancouver Sun, the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants are offering fans a $4 "lockout discount" for their first three home games of the season. The promotion covers the upper bowl reds at Pacific Coliseum, seats that usually cost $19.
Giants majority owner Ron Toigo says the price break is designed to attract fans who may feel jilted that the NHL's Canucks will likely be out of action for a while.
“It’s a special offer to all hockey fans to come and see what we're all about. It’s a chance to see the calibre and quality of play in our league and some of the great stars of the future.”
The discount will be in effect for the Giants' home opener Friday against the Victoria Royals, along with a Sept. 28 date with the Everett Silvertips and a Sept. 30 tilt against the Spokane Chiefs.
The Giants have as much to gain from a long NHL work stoppage as any junior team in Canada. As one of only a handful of teams in NHL markets, the Giants could fill a major void left by the Canucks' absence. It doesn't hurt that the Giants are one of the most consistently solid teams in the WHL, having finished first or second in their division in seven straight seasons and won the Memorial Cup title in 2007.