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Triangle fans: 'Hockey's back, baby!'

Posted January 6, 2013

— NHL fans tailgating in the PNC Arena parking lot Sunday expected just to take in a game by the Checkers, the Hurricanes’ minor league affiliate in Charlotte.

Instead, they also got to celebrate the end to a nearly four month-long dispute over salary caps and pensions that had so far canceled all NHL games this season.

"Hockey's back, baby!" yelled tailgater Sam Montgomery-Blinn, of Durham.

Hockey fans Mims: Hurricanes fans ready for hockey

Fan Jan Lapp said she was in a church service when someone whispered the news of a deal to her.

"I forgot to tell the minister," Lapp said. "I do remember going over to the Sunday school room and told this young lady, 'Hey, it looks like we’re going to play hockey again!'"

The exact schedule has yet to be worked out, but teams will likely play 48 to 50 games this year.

The 113 ice-free days took their toll on some fans’ enthusiasm.

"It's a joke that it lasted this long," said fan Hank Barnes. "I think the owners were asking way too much out of the players."

"My kids have been asking me since the summer basically, when is there going to be more hockey to play?" Montgomery-Blinn said. "I might hold a little grudge, but I can’t lock my kids out of the game."

While tailgating Sunday, Barnes, of Morrisville, speculated that the lockout could cause the Canes to lose some fans.

"Probably casual fans. People go on and do other things," he said. "I'’m not as diehard as I was before the lockout."

His wife, Connie Barnes, though, declared that she remains "a thousand percent" diehard fan of the Canes. "I love the Canes and everything about them," she said.

The agreement must still be ratified by the NHL's owners and players. Games could begin within the next two weeks.

"It's going to be a short season. But at least we have our hockey for the season," hockey fan Jason Allen said. "Can't wait to see the Canes back in action."

121 Comments

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  • Bob Sidel Jan 8, 2013

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    haha, requires the most athlesticism out of any sport you watch.

  • rushbot Jan 7, 2013

    It is surreal that folks would post their political thoughts on a Sports Web..did you all get your marching mantra earlier today from Mr Limbaugh..THIS IS A SPORTS THREAD!!!

  • rushbot Jan 7, 2013

    View quoted thread

    so why do you bring your political viewpoint..of course the players have risk..to their bodies..did you not see mr griffin3 suffer injury on national television last night..it is beyond belief that you say there is no risk to the players..you apperently need to let us know your political views here on a flippin sports web site..un real dude..it was the owners who broke their word and shut it down..not the players..and the hartford whalers management scammed Raleigh and got all kinds of good deals..the building of the RBC or whatever they call now comes to mind..I personally don't believe it is incumbent upon the players pull off their caps and knuckle their foreheads to the owners..apparently you do..I think the players would have been far better off arranging with their agents their own barnstorming tours this season..they could have kept all the money (except for their agent's cut)..tell me they could not have gotten a zillion tv dollars setting up several winter classic like events..

  • rushbot Jan 7, 2013

    View quoted thread

    plus, i answered him already long time ago..

  • rushbot Jan 7, 2013

    View quoted thread

    why do you feel the players don't deserve to stand up to the owners when the owners unilaterally decide to throw out the existing agreement? Should they have just pulled off their caps, knuckled their foreheads and said "thank you sir, can i have another" .. ..

  • JohnnyVoodoo Jan 7, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Yeah, that's the one.. your girlfriend likes it when I pick her up in that one. She likes the way the seats goes all the way back.

  • JohnnyVoodoo Jan 7, 2013

    View quoted thread

    So I guess this means you are saying if you don't work in a cubicle around the Cary/RTP area you are unemployeed? Are you really that much of a mor*n?

  • chouseworth Jan 7, 2013

    Not a sport

  • patrick85ed Jan 7, 2013

    YAWN.

  • gwnunn Jan 7, 2013

    Stay at home, don't go to games, teach the Union a good lesson.

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