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Players, fans react on social media to lockout ending

TSN.ca Staff

1/6/2013 11:31:05 AM

Reaction to the news that the NHL Lockout was over after 113 days came fast and furious on social media, with players and fans cheering and jeering across various platforms.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was among those who voiced his happiness on Twitter.

"Glad to see a deal between the #NHL players and the league. Great news for hockey fans and communities across Canada," he wrote on the @pmharper account.

Players expressed excitement at the prospect of getting back to work in front of their fans.

"Glad to have a deal done, thanks to all our fans out there who suffered through this with us... Looking forward to hitting the ice!!!" wrote George Parros of the Florida Panthers on Twitter.

Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers also tweeted a couple of times.

"Best news I could have ever hoped for. So excited to get back to Edmonton and play in front of the fans at Rexall," he wrote in one tweet. He followed up with a thank you for the federal negotiator who was largely responsible for getting the two sides together.

"Scot Beckenbaugh, next time I'm in NYC, dinner is on me. Thanks for helping get us back on the ice."

During its breaking news coverage, TSN encouraged fans to use the Twitter hashtags #GameOn and #TSN to express views on the lockout and they responded in droves. There were expressions of joy, frustration, disgust and a lot of chatter about staging boycotts or similar protests.

"Our long national nightmare is over!!" (@DeanOpperman)

"This is better than Christmas morning! The lockout is over!" (@TeresaPileggi)

"Seriously? We all SHOULD boycott game 1. Just to let the #NHL know where they are without the fans." (@zchamu)

"I think FANS should boycott 1 game and spend it at a local business that was a loser in all this." (@jaxielin)

"Remember when I said fans should strike at the end of the #NHL lockout. Forget that. I want to watch hockey!" (@fan_of_leisure)

"If the NHL was looking to do something for the fans, making the Center Ice package free for the rest of the season would be great." (@nickschaef)

"NHL fans have been too quick to embrace the NHL after a lockout. Let players & owners know your anger by voting with your wallet." (@JuliusBarthelme)

TSN's facebook page was also flooded with comments.

"I personally will be boycotting the NHL for the remainder of this season.. Once you stop treating fans like dirt and show them you care (ie. Maybe lower ticket prices, jersey prices, etc..) Maybe you will win back my respect." (Tony Webb)

"NHL may be claiming strike is over- BUT it'll be at least another year before I might watch a game of greed driven players and owners play the Canadian game of Hockey. Junior teams now get my full support. Fans should not participate in the "shortened season" if the rinks don't fill, and the fans let their disgust show through NO ticket sales, NO merchandise sales, NO TV ratings...then the greed of the NHL will be the downfall. Hit the owners and players in the pocketbook and they'll respect the fans; don't and expect this to repeat folks." (Ken Morris)

"Stop ripping them up, they got this going for a reason, and I'm so happy it happened, NHL hockey makes life awesome."(Jason Mosher)

"Welcome back nhl. I will not boycott, I will not obstain. I will rejoice that a game so ingrained in our national identity has returned. It allows cities to unite, fans to rejoice, brings happines(for leafs fans sadness) to our hearts and allows, mothers and daughters and fathers and sons to bond. Welcome back boys I will buy my tickets my jerseys and cheer like a crazy man." (Ryan Cornish).

One of the most popular NHL players in terms of Twitter followers, Paul Bissonette of the Phoenix Coyotes, is known for his sense of humor. Today, he tweeted a more serious message to fans on both sides of the lockout debate.

"To the fans that won't come back, I can understand," Bissonette wrote. "To the ones that will, thank you for your patience. Welcome back NHL hockey."