By Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer
Regardless of the business you're in, you just can't beat a good deal. So when House of Ink, a popular tattoo shop in the Venice area of Los Angeles, suddenly offered 50 percent off ink work, it got some people's attention. But there was a catch, one that area hockey fans definitely didn't have a problem with.
"All Kings tattoos are 50 percent off," said Sean Heirigs, the Kings fan and long-time tattoo artist who opened House of Ink almost 15 years ago.
The 50 percent Kings promotion is a sizeable discount for any business, but it's nothing compared to what Heirigs will be offering if the Kings wrap up the franchise's first Stanley Cup win.
"Free Stanley Cup tattoos if we win," Heirigs said. "I think there could be a few hundred people lined up out the door [if the Kings win]."
For Heirigs, the potential lineup for free Cup tattoos is a welcome opportunity to combine his twin passions: body art and the Kings. Through 20 years in the tattoo business, there have been countless other opportunities for Heirigs to bring these two worlds together. Like nine years ago, when then-Kings players Ian Laperriere and Mattias Norstrom walked though House of Ink's front door.
"Me and Mattias Norstrom were looking to get tattoos. He wanted to get one for the birth of his daughter and I wanted to get one for the death of my dad. Two very different topics," Laperriere told NHL.com. "I think it was Felix Potvin who suggested we go to Venice Beach and go see those guys. We walked in and they recognized us."
In the midst of the Kings' current run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, Heirigs has been all too happy to help local fans immortalize the team with some fresh body art. He's even happy to welcome bandwagon fans into the cult of the Kings. But the greatest combination of his two loves may have come years ago when he attended a Kings game. During a break in game action, Heirigs looked up at the scoreboard to find a former customer showing off his Kings tattoo to the captive audience.
"I actually saw it on the scoreboard and I thought, 'Wow, I did that tattoo,'" Heirigs said. "It was half the old Kings crown and half the new one. It was pretty cool, it took up his whole upper shoulder. The guy actually won a contest during the game [for his tattoo]."
Memorable as that scoreboard moment was for Heirigs, it could pale in comparison to the prospect of celebrating a Kings series win over New Jersey by handing out hundreds of free Stanley Cup tattoos.
"He better get his ink ready," Laperriere said. "I think they'll win that one."