This edition of my blog will be full of congratulatory messages.
First, congrats to the Hershey Bears on winning the Calder Cup last Friday night. They defeated the Manitoba Moose in six games to win their 10th Calder Cup. Hershey has certainly been a power over the last several seasons. I think the fruits of their labor have already been seen in Washington, which is Hershey’s affiliate. Congrats also to the fans in both Hershey and Manitoba who came out in drove to support their teams. It was unbelievable to see the buildings in both cities be sold out every night. Manitoba drew 15,000 a night for games 1, 2 and 6 and Hershey had nearly 11,000 for games 3-5. Great stuff!
Second, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on winning the Stanley Cup also last Friday night. That was a thrilling series to watch all the way to literally the last second. I am thrilled for Ray Shero, the general manager of the Penguins who not only constructed this championship team but was also responsible for the Admirals Calder Cup championship team in 2003-04 and the team that made it to the Calder Cup Finals in 2005-06 when he was the Assistant GM in Nashville. I saw today that Game 7 was the most watched hockey game in 36 years! Hopefully the NHL will be able to capitalize on that success and use it to jumpstart the next season which is a little more than 100 days away.
Those two teams, of course, are both from Pennsylvania which makes the Keystone State the king of hockey in North America this year.
Third, congratulations to Todd Richards on becoming the head coach of the Minnesota Wild today. Todd was our assistant coach from 2001-02 through the 2006-07 seasons and is most deserving of this opportunity. He left the Admirals to become the head coach in Wilkes-Barre Scranton in 2007-08 and took that team to the Calder Cup Finals and then went to the San Jose Sharks to become an assistant coach at the NHL level. I think he’s going to do a great job in his first NHL head coaching opportunity. He has the right temperament and great skills to develop winning teams. I applaud the Wild for making this choice.
Finally, congratulations to Charlie Larson of our staff on being named Vice President of Communications. Harris Turer and I were very proud to give Charlie this promotion. Charlie has done a great job of not only guiding our media relations, community relations and our website but he has also been an invaluable asset to us over our four years here and is very deserving of his new title.
We have our annual Garage Sale coming up on July 14 and 15 in the West Atrium of the Bradley Center. We will have the game worn blue jerseys available for sale as well as the gray jerseys from this season. These are truly unique items and I expect them to go fast. Keep an eye out on the website over the next few days as the price list for the entire inventory of items available at the Garage Sale will be posted. Remember the first day is for season ticket holders only so if you are contemplating getting a game worn jersey from last season this would be a great time to make your investment in Ads season tickets for the 2009-10 season.