Chicago Sun-Times

Hawks planning to unveil fan initiatives later in the week

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are giving away free concessions at its first four games. The Dallas Stars are allowing kids under the age of 12 in for free through February. The Buffalo Sabres are cutting team store prices in half. The Florida Panthers are offering some seats for $7.

So what are the Blackhawks doing to win back fans after the four-month lockout wiped out nearly half the season? Well, we'll see.

"We try to do that 365 days a year," team president John McDonough said of winning over fans. "There are some fan initiatives that will be introduced later in the week. There are some things we're tying up."

McDonough said the Hawks "certainly weren't overwhelmed by" fan anger during the lockout, but he reiterated the points he and chairman Rocky Wirtz said in an open letter to fans -- thanking fans for their "patience" and "looking forward" to the 48-game season that begins Saturday in Los Angeles.

"To our fans, we don't take any of this or granted," he said. "It was a difficult period to all of us. But we certainly respect and understand it was particularly difficult for you."

McDonough didn't offer an apology for the lockout, but said the Hawks were committed to winning back fans. And the easiest way to do that is to win games.

"The message to our fans is very simple," he said. "We are going to have to earn our way back. We do not take any of this for granted. Our expectations here as always are very high. And we are totally committed to winning."

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on January 13, 2013 3:03 PM.

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