April 20, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey is back and Pittsburgh cannot be more excited

In case you have not heard, or want to hear again, there will be an NHL season this year and really that should be music to everyone in Pittsburgh’s ears.

I mean let’s be honest for a second: the Pirates season became a big collapse, the Steelers were injury riddled and mediocre, the Pitt football team got decimated at the BBVA Compass Bowl and Pitt men’s basketball looks to be in for another long season as they struggle to find success in the Big East.

Pittsburgh fans are begging for a winner and now a dedicated season ticket base can pack the empty Consol Energy Center once again to root on their Penguins.

“I am really happy that a deal was reached and we’re all excited to get back to playing hockey,” Sidney Crosby told Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com. “Thank you to all of our fans for hanging in there with us.”

This is a win-win for everyone and now Penguins jerseys can be worn with the knowledge that it will once again be a hockey night in Pittsburgh.

Empty restaurants and bars will now be occupied as Penguins fever will once again hit the city.

No more frustration or wondering. No more hearing about Crosby potentially playing overseas; instead, there’ll be more Evgeni Malkin interviews, which are a delight to all fans.

Hockey is back and so is the winner this city needs. This team is a Stanley Cup contender every season and how can it not be this season?

As a 20-year-old, I can say that people around my age are Penguins fans first in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have made great efforts to grow the fan base. The Student Rush program is a great iniative where college students can enjoy Penguins games at affordable rates and students form huge lines. Sometimes pizza, donuts and coffee are delivered by Penguins players, coaches and front office members. It is things like these that excite the Penguins fans in addition to their consistently solid play.

Now fans will come together with hockey back and cure the void that was a part of their sporting calendar. This town is a Penguins town once again and now the team will come together for a brief training camp before starting their season and fans could not be anymore excited.

Count Penguins general manager Ray Shero as one of the many excited as he hopes to move on from the lockout debacle and move forward with the start of the season.

“We appreciate their support. It’s been a rollercoaster for everybody,” Shero said on the Penguins’ website. “We hope we can come back and put a product on the ice worth coming out to see and that people will be excited to watch. Hopefully, this long-term CBA will help continue to grow the sport and move in the right direction, bring the fans back and win some new fans.”

Hockey is back and here to stay (at least for now), so enjoy it Pittsburgh fans.

Tags: NHL Pittsburgh Penguins Ray Shero Sidney Crosby

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