The lockout is over! A new CBA has tentatively been agreed to. What does that mean to the common Coyotes fan? Not much! Hockey fans across the country are waiting for the puck to drop and player compensation and owner percentage means little to someone who simply wants Shane Doan to wear the "C" on his chest or wants to watch Alex Ovechkin score a hat trick.
TV Schedules have not been announced and players are still making their way back to the states from their overseas hiatus. In fact, the NHL has proposed two "probable" start dates of January 15 or January 19. And, they have said it could either be a 48 or 50 game schedule.
The bigger question will be the players and teams. Everyone has reacted to the lockout differently. Players are scattered around the world in English, Russian, Finnish and other leagues. Some younger players spent time in the AHL or attending "pick up" games. And, some players used the time to rest and heal up. This will, no doubt, create an interesting blend of preparedness and stamina issues going into the season (and ending the season). The teams and coaches will need to find a way to best take advantage of the various levels players are at after the lockout. In addition, there are still free agent players around the league who have yet to sign a contract for the coming season.
Stay tuned, things are about to get exciting!