The National Hockey League season began this past weekend, and I really thought that fans wouldn’t come back right away either in the arenas or watching on television.
I will fully admit I couldn’t have been more wrong on that. It looked like every arena was completely full and TV ratings for the weekend were the highest they have been in many years. I’ll also admit that I was very shocked to see that.
I believed that there would be a lot more anger from the fans for what they have had to suffer through over the past number of months in waiting. I know people love their hockey all over the world, especially in Canada and the United States, but I didn’t see every seat being filled. It was a pleasant surprise but the biggest test is to come. Will fans keep coming out and if they do, will the NHL keep the shortened schedule this season?
This is a big season for the NHL as the fans appear to have forgiven and forgotten what happened. The league now must keep this momentum going all the way through the regular season and throughout the playoffs. If that can happen, maybe the NHL doesn’t slip behind other emerging sports for popularity as I thought would happen. It is a very exciting time for everyone involved with hockey, and I just hope the excitement continues for all.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.