Back during the NHL lockout, there was a lot of talk about how fans were going to turn away from hockey. How when the game came back, the fans would not necessarily be back with it. It'd take a while for them to warm up to the NHL again.
Well, the NHL is back, officially open for business this Sunday. Around the league, training camps have opened and players are on the ice as they prepare for the 2013 season, which begins in less than a week on Jan. 19. In cities where practices are open to the public, it's safe to say fans aren't leading an type of boycott.
In Arlington, Va. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex:
At Scottrade Center in St. Louis:
In Voorhees, N.J. at Flyers Skate Zone, they've stopped letting people in because the crowds are so big. Fire Marshal is involved and everything:
At the Icehaus in Columbus, Ohio for Blue Jackets camp:
In Centennial, Colo. at Avalanche camp:
In Frisco, Tex. at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter on Saturday:
In Plymouth, Mich. at Compuware Arena for Red Wings camp:
... and you get the idea. Meanwhile, there are teams on the ice in other places where they've inexplicably shut the public out of the rink. Like, for example, at First Niagara Center in Buffalo:
... or at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.:
Nothing says post-lockout fan outreach like a closed practice!