Blackhawks

Lightning ticket policy attempting to block Blackhawks fans out

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Lightning ticket policy attempting to block Blackhawks fans out

Here we go again, Blackhawks fans.

We've seen it in places like St. Louis and Nashville, and now the Tampa Bay Lightning are doing everything they can to prevent Chicago fans from flooding Amalie Arena during the Stanley Cup Final. 

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Here's what happens for out-of-area Blackhawks fans looking to purchase tickets on the Lightning's Ticketmaster site for Games 1 and 2 (and assuming Games 5 and 7, if necessary):

Please note. Amalie Arena is located in Tampa, FL. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of Florida. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside the selected area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.

But wait, there's more.

If you're a fan residing in the state of Florida and plan to attend the game sporting Blackhawks attire, good luck making it through the whole game without being noticed. The Lightning are looking to keep the red out, figuratively and literally.

Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders: Please note that for all 2015 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena, only Tampa Bay Lightning apparel (or neutral) will be permitted in these club and adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team apparel will be asked to remove them while in these areas.

Oh, and if you refuse to obey those rules, you will be removed from the area and onto an available seat outside the club level. And you won't get an apology from the Lightning.

“We’re not going to apologize for the policy,” Team vice president Bill Wickett told the New York Times. “We want to create as much of a hometown environment for the Lightning players and our season-ticket holders as we can.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Get your Western Conference Champs gear here]

The Predators used this same strategy to block Blackhawks fans from entering Bridgestone Arena in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they were somewhat successful. But it didn't translate to a desired outcome in the series.

Will it work for Tampa Bay?

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.