COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Quite a few of the Columbus Blue Jackets worried about how the fans would react once the NHL lockout was officially over and the team returned to the ice.
A lot of people were angry. Some planned on turning their backs on the sport.
Based on their first practice, the players had nothing to worry about.
A capacity crowd, with fans standing two or three deep around the glass, clapped and cheered as the Blue Jackets held their first full team practice on Sunday at the public facility adjoining their home arena.
Everyone associated with the team was stunned by the reaction. The team handed out free T-shirts to the first 1,000 in attendance, but that didn't explain the size of the crowd and its exuberance.
"I didn't expect that. I'm very impressed, very impressed," new team president John Davidson said. "I didn't know what was going to happen. There's a lot of unknown. With the lockout, it wasn't a good thing for anybody. You wonder about it but there was grea...