NHL may be back, but are the fans?

By KBJR News 1

NHL may be back, but are the fans?

January 7, 2013 Updated Jan 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- After the devastating loss the Minnesota Vikings suffered to their arch rivals this past weekend in Green Bay...and with star Timberwolves basketball player, Kevin Love, re-fracturing his hand...the State of Hockey finally received some good news on Sunday.

The National Hockey League owners and players union finally reached a tentative deal on a new labor agreement to end the lockout.

Rather than a sigh of relief from hockey fans, has the lockout left a lingering bitterness toward the NHL in general?

"I am disappointed beyond belief, that we are where we are tonight..."

A few weeks ago, the outlook of the NHL and its players' union agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement, were not looking good.

But, Sunday morning, hockey fans woke up to the good news.

"I'm really happy that it came to an agreement, I'm really excited about seeing Zach Parise with The Wild, and the NHL getting back, a lot of people have missed the game," said Butch Williams, a former NHL player and current Clydesdales Hockey coach.

"Thought it was kind of dumb, I'm glad that its back on it will be exciting to see the season starting again," said Wyatt Wutz, a Denfeld Duluth hockey player.

"I think it's pretty big that we get to watch hockey again, and it's going to help us," said Zach Grule, a Duluth East hockey player.

Some fans were eager that the whole process is over, while others were left on edge.

"They both make a lot of money, and us poor workers have to pay for the tickets. These guys want more money, and we have to pay their salary when we don't make 1/20th of what they make," Chris Jurkains, a Minnesota Wild fan said.

"Really, I mean, who suffers? Owners? They're millionaires...hockey players? They're millionaires," said Roger Raymond, Powerhouse Bar Owner and Minnesota Wild fan.

The big question lingers... as players prepare to return to the ice, will the fans come back too?

"I think they owe a lot of the workers that work part time jobs trying to feed their families at the arenas, I think they owe them an apology, I think that's the first thing that should happen," Williams said.

With a 48-50 game regular season expected, will a shortened- season Stanley Cup mean as much?

"Not to me it won't, because the game is played over a long season and there's attrition, some players get hurt, some don't, with the shortened season, they're not going to be playing all the teams, only their divisions, so it's not going to be a true season," Jurkanis said.

And for some, it doesn't make a difference.

"When your pride is out there and you're playing for keeps, it becomes a very real thing."

"It doesn't matter how many games therea re, the cup's the cup. It's to going to be awesome to win either way," Williams said.

Once the new collective bargaining agreement is approved by both sides, the shortened season will begin on January 15th or 19th.

It is believed that each team will only face their conference opponents.

Posted to the web by Jenna Vogt

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