NHL moving away from physical tickets is a bad thing

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The NHL has continued to make the push away from physical tickets this season with certain teams beginning to use cards, similar to a credit card, as a season ticket holders pass for the year.

The Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals have all moved in this direction.

In the past number of years you have been able to print your tickets online if you’re a non season ticket holder purchasing tickets, which was a big change from always having to get them from the box office, but the NHL continues to move forward in the digital age. As a report in The Hockey News said, the Jets will still print season tickets if fans want them, but they're generic tickets, not the colourful and artistic ones fans love. Those are also not available to anyone purchasing individual tickets anymore. And just in case you really don't want the digital card, it's $60 to have those generic ones printed. 

Although I'm obviously not a season ticket holder for an NHL team this is something that I do enjoy getting when I go to a game. From NHL games I've gone to I've kept nearly every ticket. From a Jan. 2011 Montreal Canadiens game I attended, the ticket has Lars Eller on it, I still have the artistic 2004 World Women's Hockey Championships tickets from Halifax tucked away, amongst the specially designed 2000 Mastercard Memorial Cup ticket stubs, which was also in Halifax. 

I understand what the NHL and their teams are looking at doing because if I fly now, for convenience, I get a digital ticket on my phone instead of a physical one. Although that works in some situations, in this case fans still see a lot of value in the physical ticket that isn't always generic. They want to be able to hold onto them and I believe that both options should be available as more teams move to this "card" system if the NHL truly cares what their fans think.

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I’m not sure how many people were glued to the TV like I was on Sunday night, but 23-year-old Rachel Homan defeated Jennifer Jones 9-6 to capture the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts title.

Homan was calm and collected the entire game, keeping her focus, even on the final open hit to run Jones’ rink out of rocks. There are few curlers I’ve seen that have that level of mental strength at the national level, especially at that age. It was clear Jones had become irritated late in the game, but Homan and her team continued to stay locked in on their goal.

Aside from their team’s great play throughout the lineup, lead Lisa Weagle was outstanding making an unbelievable amount of tick shots, which helped her team in truly controlling the play in the house in multiple ends. The other noteworthy point was Jones’ Manitoba rink went undefeated in round-robin play, defeating Ontario in their first meeting. Manitoba’s only losses were in the page playoff 1 vs. 2 game and obviously the final to Ontario.

For a veteran skip and team to be defeated like they were on the weekend it says a lot about the young talent coming up through the curling system and their abilities to balance different styles of games, both aggressive and defensive, which Homan’s team proved against Jones over the weekend. It also showed how they were able to be mentally tough and bounce back against a team that is “promoted” as one of if not the team to beat at the Scotties.

Homan and her team’s next test is at the world women’s curling championships in Riga, Latvia. Although they’ve had success at the Scotties this will be a tough event for them, but I believe after watching their composure against Jones in the playoffs that they have what it takes to become world champions this year.

 

Christopher Cameron is the sports reporter for The News and can be reached at christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca or on Twitter: @NGNewsChris.

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