Monday, 17 September 2012

Wheat Kings' GM Expects 'Little Impact' from NHL Lockout

Kelly McCrimmon
Don't expect the NHL lockout to have much of an impact on the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Wheat Kings' general manager Kelly McCrimmon says the last lockout in 2004-2005 resulted in a small spike in attendance but nothing substancial.
He says he would expect the same this year if the lockout drags on into the regular season.

"I think it gives us a little more profile and, eventually, people are going to miss having the opportunity to watch a game on TV or the opportunity to see one live," said McCrimmon on Monday, "Maybe in time, it has a little bit of impact to our attendance but at this point, I don't anticipate there'll be much difference."

The Wheat Kings' average attendance in 2004-2005 went up over 300 per game from the previous year to 3,534, but that is still more than 600 less fans per game than it was last season, when the club averaged 4,143 fans per game.

"I know in 2004-2005, as the lockout went on, people did look for hockey to watch and junior hockey is a good option," added McCrimmon.

For those of you looking for some additions to Brandon's lineup due to the lockout, don't get your hopes up.

McCrimmon feels there's no chance 20-year old players like Mark Stone, Michael Ferland or Kevin Sundher would find their way back to the WHL.

All three are expected to play in the American Hockey League this season.

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