Hockey fans rejoice as NHL action returns
MONTREAL - Hockey fans are celebrating the return of NHL action today, even if some remain sore about the lengthy lockout that nearly cost the season.
In Montreal, the Canadiens made their game-day skate free to fans and held a live concert outside the Bell Centre as part of an attempt to make amends following the labour dispute.
Myles Resnick, an 18-year-old Leafs fan visiting from Toronto, says he was angry during the labour dispute but loves hockey too much to stay away.
The Habs are facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets played host to the Ottawa Senators this afternoon, with the Senators winning 4-1.
The Jets reached out to fans by offering half price food and drinks.
Draft beers were $4.25 instead of $8.50, and $8 hot dogs were $4.
Kasia Dolna, who was wearing a Daniel Alfredsson Senators jersey in a sea of Jets gear, said she appreciated the gesture and had no misgivings about supporting the league.
“Not at all," Dolna said as she headed into the arena. "I’m a huge hockey fan. (The lockout) sucked... but I can’t wait for the game.”
Another fan, Billy Kent, whose family has season tickets, said he wasn't happy about the lockout, but isn't about to stop being a hockey fan _ especially with the Jets back in town for only the second year.
“It’s a little frustrating," he said.
"I don’t even know what side to side really with, I guess. But it’s back now, and it’s over with.”
There were some signs of discontent, however.
Some fans booed Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey during the pre-game introductions. Hainsey was the team's representative during the labour negotiations with the league and was often front and centre during talks with the owners.
All seven Canadian teams are in action this weekend.
The Anaheim Ducks visit the Canucks tonight in Vancouver.
On Sunday, the Calgary Flames will host the San Jose Sharks, while the Canucks face off against the Edmonton Oilers.
- with files from Avi Saper and Judy Owen in Winnipeg