NHL Hockey Is Back, Fans Excited

7:15 PM, Jan 6, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- NHL Hockey is back!

The deal still has to be ratified but it looks like a tentative deal has ended the 113 day lockout, after a 16 hour marathon talk.

The 10-year deal still must be ratified by a majority of the league's 30 owners and the union's membership of approximately 740 players.

The first game could come as soon as a week and a half. But not before getting the players back in town, a week of training camp and putting together the shortened schedule of 48 - 50 games.

The only hockey on ice around here have been amateurs and youth ice hockey.

Chase Ryan, 13-year-old ice hockey player: "My dad bought season tickets for the first time this year and the lockout happened so we didn't go to a lot of games this year. It sucked."

The Prince William Hockey Club Panthers lost there game against Chevy Chase, Md.on Sunday, but everyone here feels like a winner now that the four-month NHL lockout is over.

Kyle Dooley says, "It's good because I watch it on T.V. all the time."
Randy Wood, Prince William Hockey Club President: "In this area, hockey's not our first thought, not our first love but when the Caps play and play well, it does great things for this kind of hockey."

Hockey Hall of Famer and 9 time NHL All Star Jeremy Roenick was guest coaching the Panthers Sunday afternoon.

Roenick says, "Wasting a season would've been catastrophic."

Roenick lived through a couple of lockouts himself.

"It's brutal because your livelihood is playing hockey when you don't have that, it's lonely."

It's not just the rink that's frozen over but business has cooled. Many bars and restaurants near Verizon Center have taken a hit.
Fred Ellis, the assistant general manager of Ruby Tuesdays sees about 2000 dollars in revenue per Caps game.

"Bar business has been down 10% but now it will be a 20% increase in sales. It's really going to excite the Chinatown area."

Wood, "Hockey is back in DC. The Caps are coming home. We're going to rock the red. it means a lot for Northern Virginia, Maryland and D.C."

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