They may not be Philly’s most loved or glamorous team but the Philadelphia Flyers have loyal fans. That audience will get to see some hockey after all this year. Just days before the National Hockey League was prepared to cancel the season outright, players and management have hammered out a 10-year contract.
NHL players and team owners spent 113 days negotiating a new contract. They announced a tentative deal Sunday.
At the Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia, where amateur skaters circled the ice rinks, Jim Davis said Monday he’ll welcome the team back.
“I’ve got nothing to watch on TV or go to the games or talk about … I’m not a big fan of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ so I need hockey in my life,” he said.
Davis says the fans have lost out in the fight over money.
“Hockey’s just such a great sport, you hate to see them guys acting like children,” he said. “It’s all about money, and us, as fans, we lose out on it all.”
Richard Staron of Langhorne was with his 3-year-old daughter — on ice skates for just the second time. He says he’s a hard-core Flyers fan, following Twitter “religiously” for hockey news during the lockout.
Staron, who has been “reading updates on Flyers in Europe and the prospects and following the lockout,” said he’s “really excited that the lockout’s ended. So I’ll be going back to the games and having a good time with it.”
He won’t have long to wait now. The shortened season could start by Jan. 19.