Reporting Lynne Hayes-Freeland
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Since the NHL lockout began more than 100 days ago, there has been hockey around town, but not professional hockey.
But now that the lockout appears to be over, there is excitement all over Pittsburgh.
“We got our Consol Energy, it’s a great day for hockey … wishing us good luck,” one hockey fan said while holding a banner.
After a lockout that started back on Sept. 16, it seemed like the Penguins needed more than luck to get back on the ice.
But fans never gave up hope that they would still see some action.
“I have season tickets,” one fan said, “looking forward to the new schedule and the next game that we’re going to.”
“It was great to tell the kids this morning when they woke up, because they had no idea and they were thrilled,” another hockey lover said.
“The best part is that they were finally able to agree,” one person said, “There are so many fans that love hockey, now that the Steelers are out of the playoffs, now we have the Penguins to watch.”
And for a lot of the fans, the down time wasn’t just about the game, it was about money.
With no action on the ice at Consol, a lot of businesses and people were out of work. So a new agreement means money.
“It was crazy, crazy,” one person said, “waiting and just wanting to work for me.”
The season, a second half will get underway next week and the fans will be there.
But some say the whole thing leaves a bad taste after such a long time with no action on the ice.
“It’s taken too long,” one fan said. “It’s a sad story because with as many people lost money, been out of work, the economy, you would think they would think of the fans first.”