The 2021-22 NHL season is one month old and a sense of normalcy is apparent.

The game’s producing winners and losers. The highlight-reel goals, the unforgettable saves, and the big hits filling social media feeds.

But most of all, the fans. After a season with empty buildings, particularly in the Canadian markets, the noise and passion from attendees on a nightly basis epitomizes life returning to normal.

In Toronto, getting a chance to see the Maple Leafs in person is a costly proposition. Fans waiting a year to return to Scotiabank Arena will have to empty their pockets if they want to see their team play.

According to a recent report done by Bookies.com, the Leafs rank first in terms of greatest secondary market price increases. The report found that the average ticket costs $128.69 while the resell price is $343. This reflects a price increase of 167 percent, the largest in the league. (Incidentally, the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup was in ’67).

The report states that the average NHL fan will have to pay around 73 percent more this season when buying from a reseller.

Other Canadian teams, such as the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and Ottawa Senators are in the top 10 in terms of most expensive secondary market prices. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, are ranked ninth with a 97 percent increase.

Demand for tickets is higher than in years past, given the reality that fans couldn’t attend games in person for over 17 months due to the global pandemic. Fans want to see a team that is performing well and possessing star players. The Maple Leafs check off both of these boxes, thanks to the production of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander.

With fans experiencing hikes in secondary ticket prices, it means many of them may not be able to afford to attend games. Only those with the financial resources to spend on expensive tickets will be able to witness games in person, closing the door on passionate fans who cannot afford the price increases.

The pandemic forced many people to re-evaluate their choices when it comes to the important things to spend money on. Whether or not to attend a hockey game is high on the list.

After spending a year watching games in front of their TVs, the secondary market price hikes may well force fans to do more of the same.