Posted January 13, 2013 on
AP on Fox
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.
Based on the first practice, they had nothing to worry about.
A capacity crowd, with fans standing two or three deep around the glass, watched and cheered as the Blue Jackets held their first full-team practice on Sunday at the public facility adjoining their home arena.
Defenseman James Wisniewski was the first player on the ice shortly after noon, and he smiled as he tossed sticks over the glass to fans.
Before that, coach Todd Richards addressed the crowd and thanked them for their patience and acknowledged some ''negativity'' because of the lockout.
But everything else was positive and upbeat.
BEST OF MAXIM
COLUMBUS, OHIO The Columbus Blue Jackets and National Hockey League announced today a 2012-13 regular season schedule in which the club will play 48 games, including 24 home games at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets will open the season on Saturday, January 19 when they visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Columbus will play its first home game two nights later...
No one can deny itthe NHL lockout made fans dislike the NHL. And now that a new CBA has arrived, the NHL wants their fans back, though every market is struggling with a small contingency of them saying, No way.
But in Columbus, CBJ Chief Marketing Officer John Browne feels the Blue Jackets, while certainly having some detractors, has for the most part seen a more positive response...
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
A pair of 24-year-olds, Steve Mason and Sergei Bobrovsky, will share that duty until one of them wins the net. Coach Todd Richards has been clear about riding whoever is winning. Both goalies have had hot spells during their short careers. Both have gone cold.
Mason appeared to be a godsend — he won 33 games, had 10 shutouts...
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...
By Tim Lucarelli (@tlucarelli)
On a warm and rainy day in Columbus, Ohio, NHL hockey finally returned. For an organization that finished in last place by nine points last season and then subsequently lost out on the draft lottery for the first overall selection, there were certainly some question marks surrounding the level of fan support in Columbus.
But all of that was put to rest...