VANCOUVER -- When it comes to Stanley Cup Playoff tickets the players are no different than an average fan: tickets are limited and come at a premium price.
The Chicago Blackhawks know first-hand the cost of playoff tickets in Vancouver -- the team had four B.C. natives on the team the previous two seasons while Troy Brouwer and Brent Seabrook continue to shell out for postseason tickets.
"It gets pricey, that's for sure," Brouwer said, chuckling. "But to play in front of your friends and family, mainly your family, it doesn't really matter how much they are. I want them to be here, I want them to be at the games.
"You know it's playoffs and obviously the team and the League are going to try and generate some revenue. (Cost) doesn't matter as long as they're in the building and able to watch."
Brouwer admits tickets are more available now that Colin Fraser (Edmonton Oilers) and Andrew Ladd (Atlanta Thrashers) departed in the offseason -- especially Ladd, who hailed from Maple Ridge, B.C., and had a large family contingent at games.
The Blackhawks forward has managed to cut down on the number of tickets he purchases now when he's in Vancouver, but wishes he had bought six for tonight.
"Just five (tonight): my mom, my dad, my uncle, my sister and her husband," Brouwer said. "My grandma lives in Victoria, B.C. and she's 80-years-old. I wish she could come over, but sometimes she just can't."
And forget about hometown discount.
"I wish they did, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way, and everything obviously goes towards the League," Brouwer said.
Ryan Johnson, who spent two seasons with the Canucks, is also finding himself purchasing a number of tickets for games in Vancouver.
"I've got a lot of good friends that I've met here over the years," Johnson said. "This time of the year unfortunately you can't answer every call and every text -- you hope people understand."
Johnson says it's sometimes difficult to explain to friends and family that tickets are not readily available.
"The friends that don't understand that this is a tough ticket, even as a visiting player coming in here, even as a home player, tickets aren't necessarily available by the dozens so just explaining that sometimes is a little trying."
As for how much Brouwer has spent over the past three years, the 25-year-old wasn't even willing to throw out a ballpark number.
"Too much, that's all I'm going to say."