January 24, 2013
NHL notes: Many empty seats at Phoenix Coyotes games
By QMI Agency

Seats show signs that are available for purchase as season tickets at Jobing.com, home of the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., May 21, 2012. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

Have fans of the Phoenix Coyotes forgotten that their team reached the Western Conference final last season?

After flocking to Glendale's Jobing.com Arena during the 2012 NHL playoffs last spring, there was a big drop in attendance for their second home game during the shortened season.

Wednesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets drew 8,355 people, translating to 48.8% of the arena's capacity.

A photo of empty bleachers made the rounds on social networks Thursday morning.

In their first game at home against the Blackhawks, the Coyotes sold out the arena with 17,363 in attendance. After just two games, while 24 teams have played at least one home game in the NHL, the Coyotes occupy last place in terms of average attendance.

Many tickets -- for all budgets -- still remain for the majority of games for the rest of the season.


AVS' O'REILLY LEAVING KHL

Unsigned Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O’Reilly has reportedly reached an agreement with KHL side Metallurg Magnitogorsk to terminate his two-year contract.

After penning the deal with the Russian club last month, O'Reilly, a restricted free agent, was released due to a clause in his contract that permits him to sign with an NHL team if he's offered a bigger paycheque, according to an rsport.ru report.

"Ryan did not rule out the possibility of a new contract overseas during February and he understood that this course of events would affect Metallurg's preparations for the playoffs," Metallurg said.

The KHL side elected to drop O'Reilly out of concern he would leave the club after the European signing window closes at the end of this month.

The Avs lost forward Steve Downie on Tuesday to a season-ending ACL injury.

HARTNELL OUT WITH BRUISED FOOT

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost winger Scott Hartnell for 4-8 weeks after breaking the first metatarsel in his left foot.

Hartnell was hurt during Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils after being hit in the foot by a shot. He missed Thursday's game against the New York Rangers.

"To have him out any length of time is difficult," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told NHL.com's Adam Kimelman. "If you're looking at a month, two months, it's a tough pill to swallow."

In three games this season, Hartnell has one assist and 13 penalty minutes.

PENS, RANGERS IN MINOR SWAP

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers swapped minor leaguers on Thursday.

The Rangers sent forward Chad Kolarik to the Pens for forward Benn Ferriero.

Kolarik earned a spot in Monday night's AHL All-Star Classic with 16 goals and 19 assists in 41 games for the Connecticut Whale this season.

Ferriero has 14 goals and eight assists in 92 career games with the San Jose Sharks.

In addition, the Penguins acquired a conditional draft pick in 2013 from the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenceman Carl Sneep.

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