I am very happy to make the playoffs for the eighth straight year. We meet with our team before the start of each season and we talk about the commitment to excellence that has been built here over the years both on and off the ice. That commitment has been met by our coaches, our athletic trainers, our equipment managers and our players again this year. We are just one point shy of becoming the first team in the 74-year history of the American Hockey League to win 40 games and achieve 90 points in seven straight seasons.
Success breeds success and certainly Nashville’s fantastic on-ice success this season can be directly correlated to their player development program as 21 players that have played for Nashville this season have spent significant time playing for the Admirals over the past few years.
We will have our opponent for the first round of the playoffs determined this weekend and then we can get our post-season schedule announced. We have once again lowered the ticket prices for the first round. You can come out and watch playoff hockey for as little as $10 per ticket. Why do we do this you ask? It is challenging to build a ticket base early in the playoffs as you have very little time once the dates are announced to mobilize your advertising. You can’t sell huge groups as they need weeks to prepare and not days so by cutting the price of the tickets in the first round, a luxury afforded to us by our league and the Players Association, we are able to cut through the clutter with a great message to come out and see unbelievable playoff hockey for a small price.
It is going to be a fun final weekend of the regular season as we welcome KC and the Sunshine Band to the Bradley Center for the last concert of the year. It’s going to be a party atmosphere for sure and with Chicago in town it will be another intense hockey game. Then, on Sunday, it will be Fan Appreciation Night as we host Grand Rapids at 5 pm. We’ll have great prizes to giveaway during the game.
After that final game, I, along with Ben Guite, Ryan Thang and Scott Ford will be getting our heads shaved to benefit the MACC Fund. We did it last year heading into the playoffs and it was a lot of fun. You can buy a ticket at the Digicopy Information Table at section 225 on Friday and Sunday for a chance to cut part of our hair and then there is a silent auction going on for each of us for the final shaving. This is a truly unique opportunity and it helps out a wonderful cause in our community. The work that the MACC Fund does to help kids with cancer and blood-related diseases is making great progress but has a long way to go so know that your donations will go to help further the research to find cures.
I hope to see you at the Bradley Center this weekend to see your playoff-bound Admirals!