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NHL security on high alert in wake of Boston Marathon bombings

Security was ramped up the Blackhawks' game after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. There was a bigger police presence outside the United Center in Chicago on Monday night. (Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

Last week, the Nashville Predators announced that they would wand every 10th person entering Bridgestone Arena as part of a new league-mandated security policy.

Those efforts were ramped up considerably in the wake of the bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon, with one local TV station reporting that bomb-sniffing dogs were dispatched to the Preds' arena prior to last night's game against the Canucks.

And that's probably the way things are going to be, for a while anyway.

The metal detectors, wandings, pat-downs and bag searches that became part of the routine for fans attending major sporting events in the wake of the 9/11 attacks had slowly, quietly faded at many arenas. One Dallas Stars season-ticket holder told SI.com in an email this morning that security at the American Airlines Center "spent less time looking in my purse than I do on pop-up ads."

But after Monday's events, those perfunctory glances are a thing of the past. The league is back on high alert.

"We have coordinated with all our arenas and they are being secured," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email. The league, understandably, will not discuss specifics of its plans, but expanded measures are being taken to ensure the safety of fans.

In Toronto on Monday night, longer lines were reported as fans were wanded as they entered the Air Canada Centre.

Were you at a game last night? We'd like to hear what additional measures, if any, you experienced.

UPDATE 2: The Pittsburgh Penguins issued a statement ahead of Wednesday's home game against Montreal.

"We want our fans and employees to know that, following the tragedy in Boston, there will be heightened security measures for upcoming games and events at Consol Energy Center. For obvious reasons, we do not want to identify all of those measures, but we are asking fans to arrive a bit earlier for games and events."

UPDATE: From TSN in Ottawa

https://twitter.com/tsn_wally/status/324199815489650688

https://twitter.com/tsn_wally/status/324200014375170048

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