Yeah, but they have the same issue as an airline.
Once they've paid all the licensing and airport fee's, and have booked in their flight (game) schedule; they'e better off filling their seats for what they can get. They're costs are already set, might as well max out the gate and good to see a business doing so rather than being unrealistic about circumstance.
But hockey is lucky, they have endorsements, tv deals, licensing and alternate product revenue (Richard Branson has learned a heap from sports franchises, look what Virgin sells these days), Internet advertising, pay per view, merchandise (in and out of the arena) , beer and concession sales, branding activities... All these dry up if you don't find ways to keep your fan base engaged, and a full barn is critical. The Wings can still make a profit, cheap tickets in hard times keeps the fans as loyal as anything!
Detroit is in sad shape. If Obama cut off the food stamps they would lose half their population. I had heard that the Wings were selling deep discounted tickets.