It's been a while since I had an opportunity to write an Antler Banter column, but you know hockey is right around the corner when you see the weekly AHL column go up about the Moose. While I don't have any sort of preview at this time - that will appear next week - we do have some scheduling notes for you to peruse if you happen to live in or near the Winnipeg area. Some of these promotional nights sound like they will be extremely enjoyable, and you know I'll be buying tickets to these games. You should be looking to bring the kids, your friends, your neighbours, your in-laws, and anyone else down to MTS Centre for some great hockey and free stuff. As always, all of your current Manitoba Moose news and information is avaliable on the Moose website. If you're interested in attending a Manitoba Moose game, please click here for seating information, ticket pricing, and availability. Let's take a look at what the Moose have planned for another season of Hardcore Hockey!
From the Moose press release, the Moose have released their promotional schedule in accordance with their AHL schedule. Within it, "their 15th anniversary season which will include celebrity appearances, three games where the team will wear commemorative jerseys, as well as unique collectibles such as a Nolan Baumgartner Bobblehead". Let's take a look at those dates.
- October 15 vs. Grand Rapids Griffins: home opener. Fans will receive Moose Fridge Magnet Schedules, and all fans will be entered into a draw for one of three Hardcore Hockey bar fridges!
- October 22 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs: Ladies' Night. Ladies' Night sees the Moose working to support local charitable organization Keeping Abreast. Thumbs-up to this night!
- November 12 vs. Rochester Americans: Heritage Night. The Moose will take to the ice in special third jerseys to commemorate both the AHL's 75th anniversary and the Moose's 15th anniversary. All fans in attendance will receive a 15th anniversary lithograph as well! More on the lithograph below.
- November 13 vs. Rochester Americans: Santa Claus Parade. Doesn't this seem to get earlier and earlier every year? Christmas is still six weeks away at this point!
- November 19 vs. Rockford IceHogs: Celebrity Night. Fans are invited to come down to the rink to meet Nathan Kress who plays "Freddie" on Nickelodeon's iCarly.
- December 17 vs. Houston Aeros: Annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal to the rink to toss on the ice during the Teddy Bear Toss in support of the Christmas Cheer Board. Another excellent charitable evening!
- December 31 vs. Chicago Wolves: New Year's Eve game. Fans are encouraged to wear their party gear as the annual New Year's Eve game takes place in the afternoon. Fans will also receive a Moose souvenir collector cup!
- January 15 vs. Milwaukee Admirals: Fleece Blanket giveaway. All fans in attendance will receive a Moose fleece blanket.
- January 23 vs. Abbotsford Heat: Nolan Baumgartner bobblehead night. All fans in attendance will receive a Nolan Baumgartner bobblehead as part of the continuing annual Moose tradition of producing one player bobblehead per season. This game will also be aired live on CBC as part of the "AHL on CBC" schedule! This game is a 12pm start - note the time!
- February 19 vs. Lake Erie Monsters: Hockey Night in Manitoba. The Manitoba Moose will don the jerseys of the Gateway Flyers, a minor hockey team in Winnipeg, who won the 2009-10 Manitoba Moose Community Jersey program contest. This is always a great night of hockey, and I encourage everyone to come out for this event!
- March 18 vs. Texas Stars: Military Night. The Moose continue their annual tradition of honouring the men and women of Canada's Armed Forces by donning special jerseys in honour of their services. Another "must-attend" night on the Moose schedule!
- March 20 vs. Texas Stars: Family Day. Families are welcomed to MTS Centre as the Moose put on a number of kid-friendly contests and activities throughout the day. Not only do they kids have fun, but they can also meet Batman as the Dark Knight will make a trip up from Gotham to meet the kids from Winnipeg!
- March 25 vs. Abbotsford Heat: Folklorama Night. There will be many giveaways throughout the night to go along with the multicultural night that the Moose will host.
- March 27 vs. Abbotsford Heat: AHL on CBC. This is the second of the two home games the Moose will play on CBC television. Again, this is a 12pm start time! After the game, have your jerseys, banners, and hockey cards ready as the entire Moose team will be available for autographs down Autograph Alley!
- April 9 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs: Fan Appreciation Night. The Moose conclude their home promotional schedule with a night of many giveaways, and their annual "Shirt Off Their Backs" promotion where lucky fans will walk out with a game-worn jersey!
The lithograph that was mentioned above is actually one of the better giveaways that the Moose do. They published a lithograph of the six captains that the Manitoba Moose have had on their roster since they began play in the IHL, and it looks great! I'm excited to see what this year's lithograph theme is, and I encourage you to pick one up as well.
I'm looking forward to Manitoba Moose hockey this season, and this year's promotional schedule is the icing on the cake! There is a lot of fun and a lot of free stuff available to fans, so get down to the ticket booth and get your tickets before these games are sold out!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!