Ok, so I admit, I'm happy I'll get to see the Leafs (and yes the Jets) back on the ice. That being said my excitement is marginal. The NHL and its owners proved they don't really give a shit about fans, just the revenue they generate.
As a fan of hhockey I never really went into withdrawal because I was more focused on my own skills on the ice. Beer league and outdoor games of pickup remind me what the game is really about. The stakes are low but emotions are high. I've felt the exaltation coming off a big win, and more frequently the sting of defeat. I have more penalty minutes than goals, a dismal +/- and I've taken crippling slapshots to both ankles. But all of that is better than getting caught up in the lie that the NHL is the end all be all of hockey.
That's why I love the above photo. Instead of rushing to Portage and Main to chant Go! Jets! Go! the day the NHL and the NHLPA came to an agreement (I don't know if anyone did that this time around) these girls laced up their skates.