NHL Lockout Over

Gary Bettman sure must not have many fans in hockey land. The NHL commissioner, who has had three lockouts of the league during his tenure that dates back to 1993, can breathe a sigh of relief now that the latest lockout is over. With the league and the players’ union, led by Executive Director Donald Fehr, reaching a tentative deal on a new 10-year labor agreement, hockey fans everywhere can now look to rooting on their favorite team in a shortened season.

With the return of missing teeth, fast skating and puck marksmanship on the ice and oversized jerseys, dedicated fan bases and a smattering of mullets here and there, the NHL can now look to put the unrest behind them. With a huge swath of the season gone due to the lockout and games having been cancelled through January 14, teams must conduct some semblance of a training camp in earnest in preparation for what is rumored to be a 48-game season that will start on January 19.

NHL Lockout Update: NHL Lockout Recent News

Given the short time teams have to turn around, once can expect a relatively sloppy start to the season given the lack of a preseason, time to train and ability to evaluate young prospects on the horizon.

In previewing the season itself, the biggest questions that stand out from a passive hockey fan’s perspective (that would be me) are the following:

1 – Can the Los Angeles Kings repeat as Stanley Cup champions and hoist the trophy in June? (Late June, that is, as the season is expected to be pushed back a bit to compensate for all of the time lost.)

2 – What additional hurdles will teams with new coaches – Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Montreal Canadiens – face in the onset of the season?

3 – What impact will big free agent signings Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have on the Minnesota Wild?

4 – Who will end up on top of the competitive Atlantic Division – the New York Rangers or the Pittsburgh Penguins?

5 – Whom of these young stars will have a breakout year? Tyler Seguin, John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Patrick Kane, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, or Cam Atkinson?

6 – How long before Roberto Luongo is traded?

These are just a few of the unknowns headed into the season. For diehard hockey fans, one can assume that they are ecstatic that the puck will drop in roughly a week and a half from today.

Once the schedule is confirmed and released, we’ll be sure to bring it to you right here at SeatGeek, your source for the best deals on all NHL tickets.

Image courtesy of Flickr user sjsharktank