Happy hockey fans react to tentative deal

January 6, 2013 2:31:35 PM PST
Thanks to the tentative agreement announced Sunday between NHL owners and the players union, there are plenty of happy hockey fans.

Timeline: NHL lockout & past labor issue

The players in orange and black at Skate Zone in Voorhees are the 13 and 14-year-old Flyers Youth Bantam team.

However the real Flyers could soon be lacing up their skates for a shortened 48 or 50 game season.

That's the plan if the NHL's 30 owners and 470 players ratify the tentative 10-year deal announced early Sunday.

Hockey fans were thrilled to hear that at least some of the pro season may be saved.

"I'm super excited. This has been an awesome fill of the void but nothing is better than getting my Flyers back," said Karen Moore.

The lockout has taken a toll on the fan base, though as some sided with owners, others sided with players.

"I sympathize with the owners. I don't see how you can have all these teams losing money and the players asking for a bigger share," said Alan Fournier.

"I was for the players. I think the owners are just trying to beat them up, taking their benefits away from them. These guys play hard, they work hard for their money," said Frank Schwartz.

The question now is how quickly the fans will return. Some, like Barry Lem, say the strike was millionaires fighting over big bucks, while fans and others, like vendors and ticket-takers, took the big hit.

"I think it's going to be a reluctance. I have four tickets..I just don't want to put up with all the stuff anymore," said Barry Lem.

Meanwhile some of the Flyers have been holding informal skate-arounds during the lockout, but no word when the players will start hitting the ice.

Real NHL games could start in as soon as eight days.