April Conway, Staff Writer
For most people Christmas is on Dec. 25, but this year Christmas came on Jan. 6, 2013 at about 5 a.m. in the form of the National Hockey League (NHL) ending their 113-day lockout.
The NHL and the Players’ Association reached a tentative agreement after a 16 hour meeting in a hotel in New York. They attempted to come to terms on several of the issues fueling the lockout—the salary cap being one of them.
But with the lockout behind them, the players and the league are in for a tough season.
Almost half of the 2012-2013 season was canceled because of the lockout, and there will only be 48 games in the regular season. It is a do-or-die kind of season, and there can be no mistakes.
Cutthroat season aside, the fans of the sport are at a crossroad. Many wanted to protest the season and took to Twitter under the hashtag #boycott. Others are just happy that the sport has finally returned.
Carly Athanasatos, a junior majoring in social work, expressed her concern about the lockout in The Crestiad’s original hockey article. But this time around, she is singing a different tune.
“I am so glad the lockout is over,” said Athanasatos. “However, I do think the shortened season will affect the players. Their morale may be down by playtime being delayed, and they weren’t practicing.”
The shortened season also leads to games being placed more closely together. Athanasatos gave an example using her favorite team, the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I know the Flyers play two games in a row twice in a week, so I think the players may get tired,” she said.
But being tired may not be the only drawback to the shortened season, and like Athanasatos, many hockey fans are worried for their favorite players. With the number of games dwindling, the pressure on the players to play their hardest is increasing.
“Because they [the players] may feel pressure to play harder than they normally world it may cause injuries, and the injuries would definitely affect the game and the season,” said sophomore nursing major Amanda Collier.
Collier’s team, the Capitals, made it to the playoffs last year, and an injury in this short season would affect the possibility of a playoff appearance.
So with the 2012-2013 hockey season officially, and finally, underway, fans do not want any more delays, injuries, or lockouts. They want good, clean fun—which means as many fights as possible.