It’s nearly 6 a.m. EST on Sunday morning, but staying up was worth it to post this simple message on Backhand Shelf:

THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE IS BACK.

Again: The NHL is back.

That felt glorious to type, twice. Sunday, Monday, we’ll have all the news and previews for you (in article and podcast form), but the most important thing is that life for hockey fans is back to how they know it. I’m genuinely happy for you. (…Okay, “us.”)

Kudos to those of you who were optimistic the whole time like me, and to those of you who were pessimistic….kudos for being realistic. As I said, more on this tomorrow, but for now, again, let’s settle on this piece of simplicity:

HOLY SHIT THE NHL IS BACK!!!1!

Here it is from informed people. Here. We. Go:

 

 

 

 

 

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UPDATES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapping it up for the night: Bettman and Fehr sounded wiped out, but content. Thank god we aren’t killing an entire season. Let’s chat more tomorrow.