And brace yourselves.
Is the blood boiling yet?
The Penguins haven't played since April 22, 2012. If the reports hold true as of this evening and the regular season begins on January 19, 2013, that means just about nine months will have passed between Penguins games.
Sure, we had the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sure, we had the draft (awesome event, by the way).
But for the most part, that gap was filled with little else but lockout garbage - hockey-related revenues, make-whole provisions, year-to-year variances, hardline owners, contract term limits, disclaimers of interest and hills the league would die on. For big taste, sprinkle in the Jordan Staal-Brandon Sutter trade, and then let that simmer for nine months in the frustration of a first-round playoff loss to the Flyers.
In other words, it's been a while. In fact, it's been way too long. Nine months after the Pens season ended and four months after this r...