“I remember watching the movie Bull Durham when the guy said he wanted a rainout. I didn’t know we could do that in hockey,” said Francis. “I’ve seen games cancelled because of ice storms and weather. This is the first time ever we’ve had a game cancelled because of a sealant on a compressor. It’s a first for me. It’s disappointing for both teams because we have to reschedule it.”
Rescheduling the game is only one part of the behind-the-scenes choreography that was going on at PNC Arena last night, and will be the final piece of the puzzle. For now, here are the details on what you need to know about tickets, parking and rescheduling.
(By the way, a bit of ammunition when the trolls from north of the 49th parallel come calling later today: the QMJHL had to postpone a game in its league championship series when a leak appeared during the first intermission earlier this year. So there’s that.)
The last thing you want is for your $15 to go down the drain because of the rink water doing likewise. Fortunately, the Canes aren’t going to play Scrooge six days before Christmas and keep your money.
Hang onto your receipt (the colored piece of paper you get on pulling into the parking lot that you probably throw on your windshield and never pay attention to again) or your rear-view mirror hanging parking pass, and you will have a get out of jail free card: the pass is good for parking at any one game for the rest of the season, including the makeup game when it is announced.
If you really want your money back, the Canes have you covered too. Assuming you didn’t leave the game early, you received a voucher on the way out of the parking lot last night. You may return that voucher with your receipt or parking pass to the PNC Arena box office to receive a refund, or you can mail both the voucher and receipt/pass back to the team:
1400 Edwards Mill Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
Attn: Parking Code Blue
Note that if you decide to request a refund in person, the voucher requires the request to be made on the next business day after the postponement - which means you have to go by the box office today between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For all ticketholders, the easiest thing to do with your ticket is to hold onto it, because it will be valid for the rescheduled game, whenever that is. No exchange at the box office is necessary to use last night’s ticket at the rescheduled game.
Season ticket members, including partial ticket plans, who had last night’s game in their package will receive a bonus voucher for an additional game free of charge. These vouchers will be loaded into your online account manager, and should be available sometime today.
There’s remarkably little fine print with these vouchers; in fact, the only condition is that they are not valid for any Gold-tier game, of which there are only three on the schedule: the next two Fridays against the Bruins and Blackhawks, and Friday, January 20 against the Penguins. Any other game is, uh, fair game.
Fans who purchased individual game tickets for last night’s game also have the option to exchange their tickets for a future Bronze- or Silver-tier game, which requires a visit to the box office to do so.
So when will the game be rescheduled?
Update 12/23: We now have our answer. The game will be played on March 27.
And now we come to the elephant in the room.
Three schedules will need to be coordinated to schedule a makeup game: those of the two teams involved, and the PNC Arena schedule. There are very few dates where a makeup game will be feasible, and we could be looking at sometime in February before the game is able to be made up.
A complication this year is the addition of “bye weeks” to the schedule, a five-day period where a team does not play a game. The bye weeks combined with the delayed start to the season caused by the World Cup of Hockey led to a very compressed schedule, making things even more difficult.
The Canes’ bye week is February 12-16 and the Red Wings’ is February 22-27, so you can rule those weeks out now.
Monday, February 6 looks like a possibility; PNC is empty that day, and both teams are off although both play the next night, the Canes at Washington and the Wings at home to Columbus. However, that would require both teams to play four games in five nights, which could be a bridge too far.
The entire month of March is basically out, because the schedule is so jammed that month that the Canes only have one two-day break between games the entire month, and their one two-day break coincides with two games in three nights for the Wings. The NHL wouldn’t force them to play three games on consecutive nights, so that’s a non-starter.
Adding the game onto the end of the season, while it may be the easiest logistical answer, isn’t likely, because both teams play back-to-back on the final weekend of the year. That would push a makeup game to the following Tuesday, and with the playoffs set to start the next night it seems highly unrealistic that the NHL would extend the regular season by two extra days to fit a makeup game in.
The bottom line is that there is no easy solution, barring the Wings allowing a game to be played during their bye week. If that comes to pass, Thursday, February 23 becomes the clubhouse leader, with the Canes at home to Ottawa the next night. But assuming that doesn’t happen (and no one would blame the Wings if it didn’t), February 6 looks like the most likely possibility at this point. Stay tuned; we’ll update you as soon as we hear something from the team.