directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Filatov Columbus bound today?

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Filatov Columbus bound today?

Nikita Filatov has a new blog entry up. Unfortunately my Russian tranlation skills aren't quite up to par but a poster over on HF used babblefish to get a rough translation and it appears that he will arrive in Toronto today, change planes, and then should be in Columbus sometime today.

Another poster on HF mentioned that he spoke with Tyler Wright at one of the Chillers and he mentioned that he will be picking him up from the airport.

All I know is that we can all breath a little easier once this kid touches down in in Port Columbus.

I know we all think of him as a young potential superstar who should be excited to get here and start his pro career...however we need to remind ourselves that he's only 18 and is leaving the familiar surroundings and faces of his native country for an unfamiliar one in the US and Columbus Ohio. Its certainly not an easy thing to do.

Still I'll be pumped to get him and here and can't wait to see him in action. A big question I think everyone has is just how good is this kid and where does he play this coming season?

Looks like we'll find out soon!

Update: As a reader pointed out Puck-rakers has just posted the following about Filatov's travel plans:

He's expected to arrive in Toronto tonight between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. After a night in TO, he'll fly to Columbus tomorrow afternoon, arriving around 3:30 p.m.

Apparently he is flying solo and his mom will meet him in Columbus in a month's time.

Welcome to Columbus Nikita! Hope you didn't forget your skates!

A reader also pointed out this article from Terry Frei over on ESPN regarding NHL ticket prices and how they are quickly spinning out of control:

As an individual, you're a bad hockey fan if you now can't justify paying $7,000 for two decent season tickets? As a company, you're miserly if you cut back from eight tickets to two? No. You're prioritizing.

The stunning thing about all this is not that there are many empty seats at NHL games, but that there aren't more. Fans maintain interest, but instead watch more games in front of the big-screen sets. Winning still creates demand, but the price of tickets lessens the margin for error. Exoduses have a way of gaining momentum. The fewer season-ticket holders, the less incentive there is to buy season tickets, even for decent teams. And the slide is difficult to stop.

Ticket prices keep going up, in part to keep up with the payroll demands created by the rising cap, which includes a floor and also pressures to at least get in a "competitive" payroll realm; and the cap goes up in part because of the additional revenue generated by the increased ticket prices; and …

Or is it the other way around?

The following is a grab bag of apples (dollar figures) and oranges (percentages), but it gives you an idea. The Los Angeles Kings raised prices roughly 5 to 16 percent. Colorado's prices went up roughly $3 per ticket; for example, a corner loge seat went from $91 to $94. A similar seat costs about 15 percent less at Columbus, but Blue Jackets fans are up in arms over an increase.

Unless the NHL becomes a very TV friendly sport in the US and attracts those hefty network dollars, the NHL is and will always be a gate driven league.

Frei makes some good points though about when enough is enough? At what point are you pricing your heart and soul fans out of seeing your product live which most people will tell you is the real beauty and hook of this game.

I'm not sure how they can do it but the league must somehow find a way to cap ticket prices and start focusing on new revenue streams. Games have to be affordable in this league -- no ifs ands or butts -- its a must.

For me what will be really interesting is to see what happens to the cap and ticket prices once the Canadian dollar starts to level off or even declines in value? I think, like many others out there, that is a huge reason why the league has seen the bottom line growth that it has which I think has somewhat camouflaged these big jumps in the upper cap limits these past few seasons.



Anonymous said...

The thing about Babelfish and other online translations is that you can get the general idea on something but you really can't get specifics.

Hopefully someone will translate Filatov's blog because it seems like it was somebody else who kept moving his departure date back. I don't know if it was his agent or the Blue Jackets.

At any rate, it seems like our idea of him being dragged onto the plane while his fingernails scraped along the ground are not exactly correct.


pete goegan said...

According to Puckrakers, Nikita is in the air and expected to arrive in Toronto tonight! He's due in Columbus tomorrow and onto the ice on Wednesday! Welcome Young Mr. Filatov!

D. Michael said...

As far as season tickets go. Love to go the games live. Can't justify 6k for lower bowl anymore, even if they were winning.

Moved up to the upper bowl. At 2k a year, I can easily budget it, but I can see how people can't afford it. Some of the old season ticket holders have probably moved to some other package. Different section, 20/2/1, 6 game packs, etc.

Having said that, it's not a carity they are running. If you can't afford it, you don't buy it. When they can't fill the seats they will have to adjust.

This will reverse some when we leave the recession. With foreclosures at the current rate and starting to bleed over into the prime sector, along with growing unemployment. It's no surprise things are getting tighter all around.

Matt said...

Add me to the "Season tickets really getting to expensive, 6 game packs are an easier deal."

For less than the cost of two season tickets in the upper bowl (not including PSL fees), I can have 4 tickets to two different pick-6 packages in the attack twice zone. Less games, sure, but more friends to go with!