It's been a while since hockey night at the Toyota Center was a lonesome affair.
In recent years, Tri-City Americans have parlayed winning hockey and local ownership into a formula for selling tickets.
Last season, the team drew 161,284 fans, the Ams' best numbers since 1991-92.
But tonight's game against arch-rival Spokane Chiefs has a special reason for drawing a crowd. The team and Sterling Savings Bank have teamed to give away 800 Jimmy Butcher bobblehead dolls.
"Woo-Hoo" Jimmy -- you will understand the nickname if you have ever heard Butcher's rallying cry -- is the epitome of a loyal fan.
And a good neighbor.
The last time we wrote about Butcher, our editorial listed five adjectives often used to describe him: sentimental, compassionate, hardworking, committed and inspiring.
We were -- and continue to be impressed -- by the character of this man.
By making tonight "Tribute to Jimmy Butcher Night," the Ams have put the team's character is on display, too.
We would say both benefit from the comparison.