NHL Lockout Done

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 @ 11:44 pm | Sports

Apparently, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed on a new CBA and there will be professional, major league hockey played in North America this winter.

It’s been a long time since the Montreal Canadiens knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs. (Yes, I’m being Boston-centric. So sue me.) During the ensuing hockey-less winter, there were a handful of times I missed watching the game. I never felt as passionate about its absence as I did about baseball in 1994, though.

The NHL was not a healthy league before it shut down (hence the whole lockout, cancel the season thing) and I can’t imaging the situation with fans being better when the sport returns. There will definitely be some tough going for a number of franchises. I wouldn’t be surprised if the C word — Contraction — is mentioned in the near future.

I thought I had an idea of how bad things were looking for the league the last time I was in Alexandria. I was grabbing some food the the Ballston Common Mall and I saw a large banner hanging over the food court. It read “Future Home Of The Washington Capitals!”

Hmm. I knew things were bad, but I didn’t they were at the point of sharing the home locker room with The Gap and having a Slurpee machine in the penalty box.

OK, so it turns out things aren’t quite that bad — when I got back to my car, I saw that a new rink was being built across the street from mall. I assume the banner meant the Caps will play in this new rink, but I could be wrong.

Update: Ah, the banner was in reference to a new public hockey rink and practice facility that the Capitals and Arlington County are partnering to build. The rink will be open to the public year-round and will be the Caps’ training facility and the home of the team’s administrative offices. So, no Slurpees with your holding penalties and no living 10 minutes from the arena for me.

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