If you're like me, you opened your eyes, rolled over to pick up your smartphone and saw some form of this news: The NHL and the Players Association have tentatively agreed on a deal to end the lockout. We can't comment too much until a deal is ratified, and we won't go into the details of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it's enough to say this:
HOCKEY. IS. BACK.
(Incidentally, if you're a hockey fan, it paid to be a "morning person" this past weekend. You would have had to wake up at 5 a.m. Saturday on the West Coast to see Team USA -- led by goaltending Ducks prospect John Gibson -- beat Sweden for the gold medal in the World Juniors in Russia.)
As far as the NHL season commencing, nothing is set in stone yet, but here is what we do know:
- The season will start as either a 50-game schedule on January 15 or a 48-game schedule on January 19. It should be known that the Ducks won't open at home on the 19th because of a show at Honda Center that goes through the 20th.
- The Ducks schedule, in addition to the schedules of the 29 other teams, is being mapped out as we speak and will be released later this week. Soon after it's released, tickets will go on sale for individual games, mini plans, etc. Any questions can be answered by calling 877-WILD WING.
- We will also soon know more on when training camp will open. Keep an eye on this website and our social media outlets for any breaking news on that front.
Bottom line, we're all happy to have Ducks hockey back, especially judging by this smattering of fan responses on social media to the news.