It’s finally starting to sink in: the NHL lockout is over. After 113 days of misery, legalese and numbers, numbers and more numbers, fans can finally look forward to puck drop. We’re still at least a week away from the beginning of the 48(ish) game season, so I thought I’d dig up some pictures of the players lockout adventures. Sure, we could remember the hill we almost died on, endless shots of the lonely podium, #assmode and embarrassing games played out in public, OR we could look at pictures of players doing some weird shit. OK great, so here you go, the lockout in pictures.
There was the anticipated mass exodus from North America to European hockey leagues…
And when the stars showed up, so did the fans…
Meanwhile, remnants of glory on various European hockey teams web pages can still be found.
In the end, the guys who “stole a job from a good, local guy just tryna feed his family” win because they’re coming back in shape and maybe a bit more badass
Ilya Bryzgalov went 6-5 in the KHL but his shenanigans were always front and centre
Speaking of shenanigans, Nick Backstrom caused some fists to shake when he started sporting the #99 in the KHL. OH BUT NOT SO FAST! Some KHL employee screwed up by accidentally flipping a number upside down in a moment of panic to get shit done. Backstrom was eventually given his proper number, 69. Ladies! In case you’re concerned about the KHL employee, they’ve been fired and will presumably turn up penniless in Estonia.
Pavel Datsyuk continuously reminded us how much we love watching him play, even thousands of miles away. He notched 36 points in 31 games for CSKA Moscow and just hours after the lockout ended, he pulled out one last move so Russian fans could have something to remember him by.
Malkin was once again a hero to his hometown. He had 65 points in 37 games. I lost count of all his hat tricks. Here’s the hattie that counts: the Gordie Howe:
Meanwhile, in North America…
Colby Armstrong looks, ummm, well, not in game shape.
Some guys had to take up work with commoners. Michael Del Zotto packed produce for some coin before hitting the Euro hockey scene (and then coming back a couple of weeks later)
David Booth killed things…
And so did others. Gary Bettman is personally responsible for 346 freezers in North America full of meat that will never get eaten.
When players weren’t shootin’ gunz, they were doing stuff like skating in circles while waiting for someone to pick them up when it was dinner time.
Sidney Crosby skated all by his lonesome 😦
But then he found some guys to play with! Sure he had to trick them in order to play, but those are minor details.
In case you stopped keeping tabs, the players won the PR war.
Players even put in their time with those less fortunate: guidos who’ve never seen the inside of an arena…
During the last few months (that maybe kind of felt like years) we learned who was bad at Twitter.
…But from the ashes of the super self branding machines rose a self-deprecating phoenix. Roberto Luongo showed us we should totally be pumping his tires
BUT WAIT! The lockout produced the best Team Canada the Spengler Cup has seen and they won the hockey stick trophy thingy, so that was cool. And it was fun to watch too.
Some might say the lockout was an ugly time for hockey. I prefer to think of it as the lockout of love.
Did I mention the players who fled to Europe who aren’t named after characters in Game of Thrones looked like they had the best time?
LOL KRIS LETANG.
He made the brutal trip to Russia, signed with SKA, didn’t lace up for a game that was played while he was there, the lockout ended, and then he came back to North America.
Take a trip back in time and check out the NHL lockout with Scott Hartnell.