We don't want to say Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is a "dove" in this lockout war, but we're pretty sure Prince once wrote a song about him crying. He's one of the few people on the NHL side of the table to outright say "we should be playing hockey by now. Everybody knows it and we're not." And that's in a post-Jimmy Devellano cattle-fine world.
[Related: Pascal Leclaire retires before his time]
Hence, it should come as no surprise that the Senators are proactively looking beyond the work stoppage. On Monday, they led their season-ticket holders and past ticket buyers to an online survey that polled them on their anger levels and asked them to consider options for a proper "thank you" to the fans for their patience during this embarrassing lockout:
@SensForLife11Hmmmm …. Free parking, eh? Or maybe just bribe fans with $60? (As Kevin Lee, who screen-capped the above, notes, "That '30% off merchandise for the first 5 games' is the worst seeing as season-ticket holders already get 20% off merchandise...")
From James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen, who broke the story:
After asking fans whether or not they're looking forward to the Senators playing again and how much the work stoppage has affected their interest in the team, the poll asks them to rate discounts on a scale from "definitely would not purchase" to "definitely would purchase."
… The poll also tries to gauge how quickly fans will return to the rink, asking in which month they're most likely to attend a game if a new season starts in December.
Like many businesses, hockey teams regularly seek out their customers' opinions on a variety of topics. The stakes are particularly high for the NHL right now, however, due to intense anger over the second lockout in less that a decade.
These are all well and good, but we'd offer some other "thank you fans!" options for the Ottawa Senators …
• Constructing a RoboCop-like exoskeleton for defenseman Jared Cowen to support his ailing hip, which is costing him a season.
• Renting out plots of land inside Paul MacLean's mustache in order for families to keep warm in the harsh Ontarian winter.
• Signing Daniel Alfredsson is a max-length contract under the next CBA. And then convincing him to play for another half-a-decade through a combination of drugs, voodoo and Stanley Cup contention.
• "Point And Laugh At Dany Heatley Night" when the Minnesota Wild come to town.
• Or finally, just bring back this guy:
SENS ARMY … WE FIGHT (inaudible)!
Have any of you received surveys from NHL teams regarding post-lockout fan incentives?