Some fans are calling it a better feeling that Christmas morning; waking up to find out that a deal has been struck between the NHL and NHLPA that will save the 2013 season, albeit a shortened one. Regardless, the game is back which means the Minnesota Wild will be in full swing in a matter of days. First training camp will be crammed in a short period of time then it’s straight to the regular season. No exhibition games, no chance to fine-tune their game, just straight into games that matter that count towards the push for the playoffs.
But has the damage already been done? Over the last 113 days we heard many hockey fans from the Twin Cities area state they were finished with the game of hockey. No more supporting a game that features a bunch of spoiled millionaires who are fighting with billionaires.
Other die-hard fans that included many season ticket holders for the Wild said they would keep their tickets and backed up their talk by leaving their money invested with the team. Sure the Wild organization responded by granting an interest payment for those that showed their loyalty, a nice touch that not every club did. Those fans realize the value of supporting the team, a franchise that has lost their club once before.
Sellouts have become a common practice with the Wild since their return over ten years ago. Tickets have been hard to come by when the big clubs come to town, creating a demand that the Wild organization could only dream of. Instead, it became reality only to h ave it ripped apart by the lockout.
It is fair to say that the second lockout in the last eight years inflicted more damage to the game and it’s reputation than can what ever be undone. After building up much momentum over the past few years, this year the game lost it’s beloved Winter Classic which includes the HBO documentary 24/7; a program that only helped the NHL by taking the game’s popularity to new heights.
In the end the game returns and within the next two weeks the puck will finally drop on the 2013 season and the quest for the Stanley Cup will begin. Will you as a fan return to support the Wild and the game of hockey? Take part in our latest poll and let your voice be heard.