TAMPA — The decision by the Lightning not to raise ticket prices for the playoffs and next season for its season-ticket holders was not hatched Feb. 17, CEO Tod Leiweke said.
But the sea of red at the St. Pete Times Forum for a 6-2 loss to the Red Wings convinced Leiweke the decision was correct.
"Quite honestly, I didn't like last Thursday, and it was beyond the final score," he said Wednesday. "I have a great respect for the Red Wings and their brand … but I vowed at the end of that game we wouldn't go through anything like that again."
Hence this decision: Season-ticket prices next season for full and partial plans will be the same as this season. Those prices, on a per-game basis, will be available to season-ticket holders for each round of this year's playoffs, when teams traditionally raise prices.
One caveat, team spokesman Bill Wickett said: Seat locations cannot be guaranteed after March 25. Single-game ticket prices will be announced later.
"We're saying to all those lapsed season-ticket holders … to come back and be part of this franchise," Leiweke said. "The lifeblood of this team ultimately is going to be found in the season-ticket support we have."
Keeping tickets out of Wings fans' hands the next time Detroit is in town would be a bonus.
"We want to create a brand that has roots and has passion," Leiweke said. "We have a chance to do that. We feel we can fill this building with our own fans."
SKATING: D Mike Lundin, out seven games with what is believed to be an abdominal injury, and W Ryan Malone, out five with what is believed to be a stomach injury, skated without pads. Malone, who coach Guy Boucher indicated might miss the rest of the regular season, said only that he "feels good." Lundin is on a quicker timetable, though Boucher said his "most consistent" defenseman "definitely" will not play this weekend.
"He's walking and doing normal life things, and it doesn't hurt him," Boucher said. "A lot of strength back; very good news."
"It felt good," said Lundin, who averages 20:31 of ice time. "Obviously a little bit rusty, but I felt healthy. I'm going to skate lightly and gradually get into it, rehab it and make sure everything is strong and get back in shape. "
RENTAL AGREEMENT: It is possible D Eric Brewer, whose contract, which pays $4.5 million this season and runs out June 30, will be a rental player. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency and should command a high salary. Brewer, 31, acquired last week from the Blues, said he hasn't thought that far ahead.
"It doesn't really matter at this point," he said. "I think they want to get an idea of what my game is and how it fits in here."
ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning is 6-3-2 on its 12-game homestand that ends Friday against the Devils. … Tampa Bay's five first-period goals against Phoenix were one off the team record for goals in a period, set in December 1995 in a 6-3 victory over the Jets, who became the Coyotes. … C Steven Stamkos scored his first goal in six games. … LW Marty St. Louis' second goal was his 750th NHL point. … D Marc-Andre Bergeron's assist on St. Louis' second goal was his 200th point. … D Matt Smaby and LW Dana Tyrell were scratched.