At least it’s something.
That’s the approach of the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena, who announced Tuesday that they would host a preseason game between the Knoxville Ice Bears and Huntsville Havoc as part of a day of hockey related activities Oct. 20.
The Predators were supposed to conclude a stretch of four straight home games that day, but the NHL canceled the first two weeks of the regular season last Thursday because of the current labor situation. Owners imposed a lockout of players on Sept. 15, when the collective bargaining agreement expired. As a result, training camps never opened and the entire NHL preseason was canceled.
The sides were scheduled to conduct negotiations on minor issues Tuesday and Wednesday, but no substantive progress toward a resolution has been made.
“Bringing an Ice Bears game to Bridgestone Arena is another way to give back to our season ticketholders and engage our partners,” Predators executive vice president of sales Chris Parker said. “Their rivalry with Huntsville is the perfect centerpiece for a great Saturday full of hockey in Nashville.”
The teams compete in the Southern Professional Hockey League, a lower-level minor league with nine franchises primarily in the southeast that begins its regular season Oct. 26.
The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. Prior to that, the Predators will host an adult skils developmental clinic at 1:30 p.m. and a Vanderbilt University alumni game at 4 p.m. Hockey is a club sport at Vanderbilt.
Cost of the clinic, limited to 30 skaters and four goalies, is $50 per participant and includes a 90-minute on-ice session, two tickets to a weeknight home game (assuming the season starts) and a tour of the locker room.
Tickets to the hockey games are free for Predators season ticket holders and $10.25 (one ticket is good for both games) for the general public.