The NHL is back and puck drop is just a day away, so are fans really going to boycott the season and hold a grudge about the lockout?
The thousands of people already lining up to see practices and intra-squad games suggest otherwise.
So, was it just all talk? It definitely seems that way.
Around the league teams have been selling out during training camp for scrimmages and practices.
Thursday night in Montreal, 17,000 fans turned up for an intra-squad game for a team that finished 28th last season.
Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Dean Molberg says the real judgement of whether or not people are boycotting the NHL will be once the puck drops.
“I think there’s still bitterness, I don’t blame the people, but to me the proof will be seven, eight, ten, twelve games into the season. If the Flames are winning and are in a playoffs spot and we don’t have sell-outs then I’ll believe that people are boycotting,” said Molberg.
In Calgary, the Flames have been trying to woo back fans with promotions on merchandise and the promise of giveaways during opening week, but we can’t forget: hockey is Canada’s game and there will likely be fewer people angry than those who are relieved.