The Bakersfield Condors had another rough year in 2012-13, missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season and winning just 22 games, good for dead last in the ECHL.
Also, there was that hilarious escaping condor incident.
But 2013-14 will be better! The Condors guarantee it. Breaking the cycle of playoff-lessness isn't just a goal for the club next season -- it's an expectation. And so confident are the Condors that they'll make the cut for the 2014 Kelly Cup playoffs that, if they don't, your tickets are free. From the Condors:
Purchase a Condors ticket plan, Pick-6 or larger, for the 2013-14 season, and if we do not qualify for the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs, your six games in 2014-15 will be FREE.
[...] "We will make the playoffs, I guarantee it," said Condors President Matthew Riley. "But if we don't, it's no skin off our back, because all of the free tickets will come out of JO's paycheck."
If you're wondering who JO is, that would be team General Manager John Olver, who took over on April 11. He's been charged with getting this group back to the dance, and if he doesn't, the tickets you bought are coming out of his pocket. No pressure, Olver.
He's confident that he can get it done.
"30 years in the hockey business and I have never missed the playoffs," he said, apparently unaware that this means he's due for it. "I don't expect that streak to end this season."
Of note: there are nine teams in the ECHL's Western Conference and eight make the playoffs, so it will be tough to screw this up. But it's possible!
The offer, which is valid through the end of July, works like so: buy six tickets on the Pick-6 plan, and if the Condors finish outside the playoff bubble for the third straight year, those tickets are on the house, or at least the master of it.
It's win-win! Or lose-win!
Anyway. The Edmonton Oilers should adopt this model.
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Don Cherry wears a lot of ridiculous suits. [Reddit Hockey]
• Speaking of Don Cherry, he thinks Evgeni Malkin is a loser. "I wouldn’t have that Malkin. I know he’s talented, I know. But to me, he’s a loser, as far as I’m concerned.” I agree. Apart from that all that stuff he's won, he's always losing. [WEEI]
• The Chicago Blackhawks are all about adversity. They love it. Adversity is where it's at. [CSN Chicago]
• Chris Johnston on the brotherhood of the Bruins, just one of many secret societies in New England. [Sportsnet]
• Tuukka Rask says he and Tim Thomas still talk, but refuses to dish on what they talk about. Lame. [NESN]
• Nathan MacKinnon on Zdeno Chara: "That guy probably plugs himself in a night and recharges that way." [Sporting News]
• Toronto Radio broadcaster Dean Blundell crosses the line regarding the death of Oilers' prospect Kristian Pelss. ”How much must it suck playing hockey in Edmonton when you . . . I’m not going back. I mean, you’d rather jump off a bridge in like a war-torn country in a freezing cold river than go back to Edmonton. Shame. I hope they find him. I’ve been to Edmonton. I know what that guy’s talking about.” [Edmonton Journal]
• If you want to move into the top-four at the NHL draft, it's going to be very expensive. [CBC]
• The Senators and Paul MacLean are closing in on an extension, I guess because he's good or whatever. [Ottawa Sun]
• Was Wilt Chamberlain almost traded to the Chicago Bulls for Bobby Hull? [Ball Don't Lie]
• WGN's Pat Tomasulo tries to bring a little love to the people of Boston. They ain't havin' it. [WGN TV]
• A teen hockey player was brutally beaten in a fight. Why? He snowed the goalie. [Buzzing the Net]
• The New York Islanders are trying to entice 2008 draft pick Kirill Petrov to come stateside by guaranteeing him a roster spot. [Islanders Point Blank]
• The KHL will take a 14-day break before the Sochi Olympics. [RSport]
• My takeaway from this article: if the Stanley Cup were a person, we'd all be disgusted by it. [ESPN]
• Former Kings' executive Tim Leiweke, now the president of the Toronto Maple Leafs: "L.A. is not a hockey town." [LA Times]
• Behind the scenes at an NHL arbitration hearing. Really interesting stuff from Jeff Angus here. [Angus Certified]
• Seattle mayor Mike McGinn acknowledges discussions with Gary Bettman. [King 5]
• Hey, remember when the New Jersey Devils were in dire straits financially? Yeah, that never ended. [NY Post]
• The Pittsburgh Penguins problems start with... wait for it... Sidney Crosby. [Days of Y'Orr]
• Finally, here is the 2013 Stanley Cup Final in NHL '94 form:
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Mark Arcobello to a one-year contract.
A look at which players performed similarly to Adam Erne in the Allsvenskan before being drafted.
A look at which players performed similarly to Bo Horvat in the CHL before being drafted.
A look at which players performed similarly to Frederik Gauthier in the CHL before being drafted.
A look at which players performed similarly to Anthony Mantha in the CHL before being drafted.
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