By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The end of the NHL lockout has been announced, but it may be a couple of days yet before everyone can get back to business. The agreement, which replaces the deal that expired in September, must be ratified by the 30 team owners and approximately 740 players. (Read related story…)
“We’ve got to dot a lot of I’s, cross a lot of T’s,” says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Bettman didn’t go into detail Sunday morning, but it’s emerged that that dotting and crossing will still take some days. Comcast-Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman says the front office is ready.
“As with any hockey season, our staff is always preparing for the drop of the puck and the start of the season, and we’ve been anticipating the start of a season while we were in a lockout mode,” Richman says. “Our staff is geared up, ready to go and waiting for the announcement of when the games are going to be and we’re prepared to drop the puck.”
Until that time, Richman says the front office can only do its pre-preseason work.
“We’re in the process of creating slogans for this year’s campaign,” he says. “We’re in the process of having meetings several times (Monday) to get started, get our T-shirts made, get our fans Flyered up for the season, get our team Flyered up, and the ice is done, the ice is ready and we’re just awaiting when the games are going to be.”
Some Flyers players have tried to keep sharp by holding their own practices in preparation, but there will likely be a fitness curve when training camp convenes. Still, they’re raring to go.
“I was pretty excited,” Flyers winger Claude Giroux told CBS 3 Eyewitness News. “I think I’m not the only one that was waiting for that wake-up call for a long time, and to be able to have our game back, it’s always pretty exciting.”