Ed Note: This article appears courtesy our friends at Puck Drunk Love, Bloguin's main NHL hub.
Hockey fans who have been starved for the better part of four months enjoyed a long-awaited celebration on Saturday as the NHL finally kicked off their "2012-13" season after a lockout that lasted 113 days and forced the cancellation of 1020 games.
But fans who ordered NHL GameCenter, the league's live-streaming online service available on a bevy of platforms, were met with yet another obstacle between them and their beloved game.
The service has not been made available for either live games or archived content and the NHL's official Twitter account issued this tweet responding to unhappy customers just before their 7 pm slate of games began:
We know you're having issues with GameCenter and elements of NHL.com. We're working hard to fix & thank you for your patience!
— NHL (@NHL) January 19, 2013
This comes on the heels of an agreement with the NHL and Microsoft to make NHL GameCenter available to stream on Xbox 360 consoles. It is also available on Playstation 3, most mobile devices, Roku, iPhones and iPads.
Naturally, frustration has not been in short supply for hockey fans looking to get their fix. Many took to Twitter to voice their displeasure, on a day they assumed would be largely about trying to forget the lockout ever happened.
Hope it doesn't take 113 days to fix GameCenter @nhl
— Pension Plan Puppets (@mlse) January 19, 2013
Anyone else having technical issues with the new NHL Gamecenter Live? Eternal "loading", bad layout. Why fix something that isn't broken?
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) January 19, 2013
Despite the discounted price of $49.99 for the season-- down roughly 40 percent for the remainder of the season from the usual full-season price of $189.99-- the application was not ready to go at the start of the league's schedule.
Some have even started resorting to applying for a refund through the NHL's Technical Support page.
GAMECENTER REFUND: link.nhl.com/link3/gcl/gcl-… … Problem Category: Billing Questions. Then just say you want to cancel & a full refund
— Angharad (@Darahgna) January 19, 2013
If four months of quibbling over percentages and a half-hearted apology in every NHL city's major daily publication wasn't enough of a blemish on the NHL's record, they seem to be sustaining another black eye on the first day of the new season.
Follow PDL on Twitter at @PuckDrunkLove and Mike Salerno at @Charming_Idiot.
(photo courtesy of @HoldenCalgary)