The word on the streets of Broad? The lockout is over!?! I definitely do not want to jinx anything so don't count me as whatever I say goes. I was so bored last night that I created a fake Tim Panaccio twitter handle (@tpanochCSN) and started the mass hysteria that the lockout was over! Okay maybe that never happened but after 16 hours of laboring talks on Saturday in New York a tentative deal is in place!
113 days, 625 regular season-games, 625!!! It seems downright horrendous to think about. The most heinous crime of them all was canceling the beloved Winter Classic. After sitting through a New Year's Day with no Winter Classic I swore to myself that I was through with the NHL. They had gone far enough and this phan would have no more. But honestly as I sit here typing this I can't help feeling excited to see the black and orange back on the ice in South Philly.
As I read the story this morning on Yahoo Sports the headline "NHL Lockout is Over" was sitting on top of a beautiful picture of rabid Flyer phans decked out in all orange screaming at the Wells Fargo Center. That sea of orange embodies true hockey fans, fans that will not hesitate to come back and fill those seats. I can't help and think that this greed, this lockout that lasted 113 days too long is going to damage the sport of hockey like it did in 2004.
It is mind boggling how two sides who want the same thing take so long to get there. Both trying mightily to get the upper hand, as the fans and the game suffers. In the end what did we really gain?? Thankfully this mess will not have to be revisited for at least another 7 years.
The NFL, the NBA, and the NHL have all been through recent lockouts. It is a shame to see the greed between multimillionaires as the common, blue-collar fan struggles to afford tickets to one game. I hope that the NHL learns from this mis step and does all it can to bring the fans back and give them an incredible first hand experience at every game. I know that the Flyers phaithful will be back in droves. It is the not so great hockey towns that will struggle.
So with over half the season already gone a shortened season will most likely begin on January 19th, or January 15th at the earliest. Here's to the boys being back, to G, Hartsy, Kimmo and the rest of the Flyguys!