Local Businesses, Fans Anticipate Return Of NHL

The Bruins held an unofficial practice on Monday at Agganis Arena. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Bruins held an unofficial practice on Monday at Agganis Arena. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The National Hockey League’s 113-day lockout is over — hopefully. A deal reached after marathon negotiations between players and owners still has to be ratified, which could happen as soon as Tuesday.┬áBut there will be a hockey season.

The exact schedule for the shortened regular season is yet to be determined, but it looks to be about 48 games, some 30 games fewer than a normal regular season. How many fans will fill those seats once the season kicks off is another question.

Since they’ve been barred from their regular practice facility, some Bruins have been keeping their skates sharp at other rinks. Monday morning, skating with seven of his teammates at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, defenseman Andrew Ference apologized to fans for the length of the impasse.

“It’s not easy to face people and say you’re sorry for making them wait so long for a sport they love, but, you know, it wasn’t by choice, and trust us, it hurt a lot,” Ference said.

The lockout has hit hockey and its fans, but it has also been a hip check to the city that counts on money that the games generate — from waitresses to tax coffers.


  • Fluto Shinzawa, sports reporter, The Boston Globe
  • Pat Moscaritolo, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau


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