The Toronto Maple Leafs promised the fans an announcement today that would shock them, something they have never done before in franchise history.
I'd say, job well done.
The Maple Leafs today, with help from Jeremy Williams, Wendel Clark, Matt Stajan, John Mitchell, and Curtis Joseph announced that they have added a pre-season game to take place September 22nd in Toronto against the Sabres.
There is just one catch: Every single ticket will be given away.
Free of charge.
The Maple Leafs along with Coca-Cola, the games primary sponsor, will give away all 20,000 tickets through various different contests and drawings leading up to the game.
At today's press conference everyone in attendance received tickets, handed to them personally by Williams, Clark, Stajan, Mitchell, and Cujo. Joseph got a very loud cheer and many "Cujo" chants in his first public appearance since returning to Toronto.
Sportsnet's website has something up right now to enter for tickets, as does the Coke Website. Mapleleafs.com will direct you to the Coke website.
This is just a little way for the Maple Leafs to finally give back to their fans who are some of the most loyal in sports.
While many home games for Toronto are quiet in atmosphere and usually filled with suits who use the tickets as a "night out," the pre season game should feature 20,000 of the most dedicated Maple Leafs' fans—the ones who want to be there; The ones who deserve to be there.
For the young guy who just can't afford them; for the person who can never seem to get them because they sell out; for the young family who otherwise couldn't afford to take their family to the game, it's all for us.
It could be a long year on the ice, but this will be a night to remember. No doubt about it.