As a hockey fan of longtime standing, I'd be remiss if I didn't note the return of the NHL tonight after their self-imposed vacation.
Now, taking a year off due to a labor dispute isn't my idea of building a demand for the return of hockey, but I have to admit that there was a higher sense of anticipation than usual for the drop of the puck tonight. Part of this might be because we live in the State of Hockey (and I'll bet you thought it was just Minnesota), but there's also a wait-and-see attitude regarding the new rules changes the NHL has adopted to try and rekindle interest in a game that was beginning to resemble a cure for insomnia.
Will it work? Will the glitter of the Stanley Cup rub off on the game it's represented for over a century? Only time will tell. First reports on tonight's games suggest that scoring and action are up, but one night doth not a season make. It was once suggested that professional athletes took drugs to help them get up for meaningless games, and the best evidence that there's been no drug problem in hockey has been the spade of totally meaningless games played in the last few years.
So the dwindling number of hockey fans will continue to keep their eyes on the puck. We still have to be convinced. But it is good to have hockey back!