View From the Booth...The Schedule's Out!

Hello again, hockey fans, and welcome to another edition of "The View From the Booth." The countdown continues on the much-anticipated start of the 2010-11 Monsters season. We are now roughly five weeks away from dropping the puck on season number four of Monsters hockey.

On Wednesday of this week, our schedule was released, and I have to say that I really like it. Our staff, including COO Randy Domain and general manager David Oliver, did a great job of working extremely hard to give all of our fans a great slate of home games. Twenty-seven of the 40 regular season home games will be played on weekends; ten of those 27 games will be played on Friday nights; and 12 of them on Saturday nights as well as five games that will be played on Sundays.

We also have two school-day games that will be played in the morning, a trend that continues to be a great way to bring in kids from the Cleveland area and let them see the greatest game on earth.

The month of October will have us on the road for a season long seven-game road trip after the exciting opening weekend that will feature a home-and-home set with the Syracuse Crunch. Those contests will feature the Monsters and Crunch wearing throwback uniforms as part of the AHL's 75th anniversary celebration. I've seen the jerseys and I think you will really like what you see on opening night. The jerseys are something special and unique that will help showcase the great hockey tradition the city of Cleveland has.

Whether it's in the arena on opening night or on the broadcast side of the season opener on Friday, October 8th, you will get a real feel and history lesson on just how deep the great hockey tradition is in Cleveland. We have some very special things planned for you, and I’m sure it will be a great night!

The Monsters will also play a New Year's Day game that will take place at 7:30 p.m. and you can be sure our marketing and sales folks will have some great things planned for you if you're able to make it to The Q that night.

But let me get back to the start of the schedule for a moment. I really like the fact that there's a lengthy road trip in there. I think it will be a great way for our team to bond and hopefully build some early confidence out of the gate. We will play in Oklahoma City twice on that road trip. The Barons are the newest member to the AHL and are the top farm team for the Edmonton Oilers. The Monsters will face the Barons a total of six times this coming season, with three games being played at The Q and the other three contests being held in Oklahoma City, a place I'm really looking forward to going to.

In late January and February the Monsters will see plenty of time at home with 12 of 13 games slated to be played on home ice. That will almost certainly be a key stretch of the season for our guys, and we'll need you to be at as many of those games as you can make.

In terms of divisional games, the biggest change from last season is that we will only travel to Abbotsford, British Columbia, once in the regular season. That trip will come in early December. We will still continue our divisional rivalries with Grand Rapids, Rochester, Hamilton, Toronto and Manitoba.

We are still in the process of finalizing our Radio and TV broadcast schedules, and they should be done very soon. I can tell you this: There is big news coming on both of those fronts, news that I believe all Monsters fans will love. Stay tuned to LakeErieMonsters.com for details that will be coming very soon.

Speaking of TV, I will be filling in as the sports anchor for 19 Action News here in Cleveland again this Saturday, August 28th and Monsters head coach David Quinn will be joining me live on set for the 10 p.m. Sports Extra and on MY43 WUAB at 10:45 p.m. We'll get some insight from our second year head coach and we will certainly look ahead to the coming season. We hope you can tune in and join us for that.

Training camp for our players and the Avalanche is set to begin in suburban Denver in mid-September and we will be bringing you some great coverage on the latest and greatest happenings from camp. A few days after that, toward the end of September, our players will arrive in Cleveland for Monsters training camp. In all of the years I've worked in broadcasting and hockey, I don't think I've ever been more excited for a season to start!

And don't forget, if you need tickets for any of our upcoming games, you can reach out to any of our great sales people at 216-420-0000 in the Monsters ticket office. They truly are exceptional at what they do.

And as always, for any news involving the Monsters, check in daily right here on LakeErieMonsters.com for the latest news and information. Talk to you again next week for another edition of "The View From Booth." But until then…GO MONSTERS!

Sincerely,

Ben Holden


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