Visiting the USA (for hockey)

Aefibird

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OK, I'm a big hockey nut and I'm planning my next trip to the US for a holiday and to catch at least one, if not more NHL games. It would be towards the start of next season (09-10).

At the moment it is just at the planning stage (as I need to make sure of fixtures before booking...no point going to Washington if the Capitals are playing away in Tampa when I'm there! lol) but I'm a little undecided where to go to.

My main choices are mostly Western Conference teams as I've seen the majority of the Eastern Conf teams play live already.

So far my Eastern conference options are Washington (for the Caps), Carolina (for the Hurricanes) or Atlanta (for the Thrashers), as I've seen the other teams play.

In terms of Western Conference any team, except Kings and Ducks, are open to me (cos I saw them play in London and I'd like to watch teams I haven't already seen yet) but obviously some places are a better choice than others.

For example, it's gonna be less of a pain in the rear end for me to go visit Chicago or St Louis than it is for me to get to Minnesota or Phoenix, due to the amount of flights that go there from the UK, the travelling time and (the biggie) the cost.

So, what I'm asking you folk from the USA is: do you live in or near a place with an NHL franchise and if so would you recommend I come and visit?

I'd ask this question on a specific hockey forum but it'll just descend into people telling me I should go visit their town and their team because they're the best (excluding the fans of the Islanders of course! lol ;)). I'm after a more general overview of places that have hockey and why I should go there.

The team or the rink or the opposition don't bother me - I'll go watch hockey anytime, anyplace anywhere - but I'd rather spend my holiday in a nice place than in somewhere that is grotty but has a better team, which is why I'd like some suggestions of where I should visit.

Thanks in advance. :)
 

grydth

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Look at the line up that the Washington Capitols have, with a great cast backing up Ovechkin, and that opportunity stands out. That's a definite team I'd like to see this year.

Washington can be a dangerous city, but there are safe (and luxury) places available if you spend some time and money.... plus a ton of stuff to see before and after the game.
 

crushing

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I'm thinking along the lines of grydth, look for excellent players or a cast of players. In addition to Washington and Ovechkin, how about defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit with players like Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Maybe you can catch them at Chicago or St. Louis? I don't think the 2009-2010 schedule has been published yet.

Also, the NHL will be starting the season in Europe again: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/01/31/nhl-europe.html
 

jks9199

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Look at the line up that the Washington Capitols have, with a great cast backing up Ovechkin, and that opportunity stands out. That's a definite team I'd like to see this year.

Washington can be a dangerous city, but there are safe (and luxury) places available if you spend some time and money.... plus a ton of stuff to see before and after the game.
The areas of DC he'd be likely to go are fine. And there are a lot of other things in DC and the DC area to see beyond the Caps...
 
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Aefibird

Aefibird

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And there are a lot of other things in DC and the DC area to see beyond the Caps...


TBH, I don't care WHICH team I go and see. NHL and AHL hockey is a gazillion light-years ahead in standard in terms of the usual hockey I see played every week over here in the UK. My team are last season's play off champs and likely to win the league title this season, but we'd even make the Islanders look good. ;)

As I'm not going to be spending my entire holiday in an ice arena watching games, then I'd like to know why I should visit an area - what has it got to attract a tourist? Obviously, a big city like Washington has got plenty of places to visit, but why should I go there to visit them as opposed to somewhere else with an NHL franchise (Chicago, for example).

I appreciate the help, so please keep it coming! Thanks guys. :)
 

jks9199

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cdunn

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Well, if you're interested in the history of industry, Pittsburgh has lots and lots of collapsed steel mills. And the Penguins are, apparently, terrible this year. But there's, uh, a pretty nice aviary. Plus, we talk funny.
 
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