Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 9/18/12

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the NHL lockout became official Saturday. It’s the third time in Gary Bettman’s career as commissioner the NHL has locked out the players, and the second time in the past eight years.

MSF’s own Peter Stewart summarized the situation very well Sunday.

The CBA negotiations are practically at a standstill. I doubt the NHLPA will concede any time soon. NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr has a history of standing firm and not giving in, and he’s done just that so far.

Some players have already signed with other leagues. As much as fans, including myself, would like to watch our favorite players play, my guess is you don’t have the money or time to fly overseas to make that happen. So here are four ways to get your hockey fill without the NHL.

1.) Go See Your Local AHL Team

I am sure minor league hockey will see a spike in attendance for as long as the NHL lockout goes on.

NHL teams have already sent some of their players down to their affiliated AHL teams, so you have a very high chance to see NHL-caliber players for nearly half the price.

If you’re a hockey fan, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?

I’m already making plans to see some Chicago Wolves and Rockford Ice Hogs games this year. Nothing beats the talent and speed of the NHL, but there’s now way I am not getting my hockey fix this season.

If you don’t know the nearest AHL team, take the time to find out and then buy some tickets, bring the family, and enjoy the game.

2.) Go See a College Hockey Game

Another really fun alternative to the NHL is going to see some college hockey. Teams aren’t as spread out evenly (sorry West Coast) as in the AHL, but if you’re within driving distance, it’s completely worth it.

I’ve only been to two college hockey games (both Notre Dame games), but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the games both times. Most of the college venues are small, but that just adds to the college sports atmosphere, where all you hear is screams and chants from the student section.

The rules are a little different from the NHL. I wasn’t aware there is no overtime in the regular season, so you could imagine the surprised look on my face when the Notre Dame – Michigan State game ended at a 1-1 tie, but it’s still the same, great hockey I love.

3.) Start Your Own ‘Backyard’ Hockey League

Every winter my friends and I play street hockey. We pool pour money together, usually $10-15 each, for new equipment such as goalie gear or a new net. We bring our own stick, and if we want to stay warm we wear some long pants, a cap, and gloves.

It’s some of the most fun I’ve had in my life. Not only am I playing the sport I love, but I’m playing it with people I love.

Image via here

All you really need is 3 v 3, including the goalie. We’ve found out it works best with 2 forwards, 1 defenseman, and one goalie for each team. But work with what you got.

I am still young and have the time and energy to do such things, but I highly recommend that you, at whatever age, find the time to get the “guys” or “gals” together for a few games of hockey. As much fun it is to watch hockey, believe me, it’s 10x more fun to play it.

4.) Buy NHL 13

EA’s NHL 13 is the perfect antidote for the possible lost 2012-13 NHL season. Video games may not be your forte, but if they are then NHL 13 is perfect for you. I managed to play a little bit of the game the past weekend, and I absolutely loved it.

The game is a lot more realistic in the way the players move (EA calls it “True Performance Skating) and position themselves on the ice. The GM mode is spectacular. I didn’t get to play around with the GM Connected as much as I would have liked, but I did enjoy what I saw.

I do recommend you put it on the hardest difficulty though. Winning the Stanley Cup easily every year, while seemingly fun, gets old after a while.

Because of the lockout, Amazon (and other retailers) have lowered the price of NHL 13 from $60 to $50.

*****

What other ideas do you have for hockey fans looking to get their fix during the lockout?

[Editor's note. I've got one...]

Idea #5) Get together with two other writers from MSF and pose curiously around statues of oversized baseballs.

The post 4 Fun Ways Hockey Fans Can Survive The NHL Lockout appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Sumlin: Texas A&M players have 'chip on their shoulder'

WATCH: Elvis Andrus steals home against Padres

Seahawks went on Hawaiian vacation to ease SB tension

Robert Kraft: Deflategate 'most overblown story' in NFL

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Jim Tressel once sent touching note to family of Michigan OL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sony cut 'Concussion' scenes to avoid angering NFL

Ryan Clark: Trent Richardson is 'worst RB of all time'

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015

Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Harbaugh named starting QB but won't announce it

Ohio State downplays revenge talk ahead of Va. Tech rematch

WATCH: D-backs pitcher fails on quick pitch attempt

Ex-FSU WR Snoop Minnis trolls rival Florida in great way

Suspicous photo may lead to drug test for CC Sabathia

How the Houston Astros went from garbage to gold

Jack Eichel plans to move in with teammate Matt Moulson

Report: Bills GM 'went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Terrance Knighton irked by Redskins-Kardsashians comparison

Connor Cook on not being named Michigan State captain: 'It stinks'

Danny Amendola’s advice to those on roster bubble? ‘Control what you can’

Dallas Cowboys: Rookies to watch

Apple reportedly sought exclusive rights to new Bill Simmons podcast

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker