January 6, 2013

Bruins excited to get back on ice, sorry it took so long

By Jesse Connolly

Fans at Jobing.com Arena reach out for high-fives from Andrew Ference following a game between the Bruins and Coyotes. (Getty Images)

At some point within the next two weeks, the 2012-13 – err, 2013 – NHL season will finally get underway, as the league and the players’ association struck a deal on a new CBA early Sunday, ending the league’s second lockout in the last nine seasons.

For the Boston Bruins – the last team to formally raise a championship banner, I might note – the chance to begin their quest to reclaim the Stanley Cup is finally about to get underway.

“As players we can now do what we do best: proudly pull on our jerseys and play with complete passion for our cities and fans,” B’s blueliner Andrew Ference, who was on hand for negotiations in New York, tweeted.

Ference, who skated for Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic during the lockout, is hopeful everyone can promptly put these turbulent last few months behind them.

“I hope that we can replace the intense negativity brought on our sport with a reminder of how great it can be when the action is on the ice,” the veteran defenseman wrote.

Meanwhile, one of the few Bruins who elected to not head overseas also took to the social media website to share his joy over the looming start of a new season.

“Happiest for you fans,” Milan Lucic wrote. “Sorry that it took so long. Let’s put the lockout behind us and look forward to some hockey. Best Serbian Christmas present I can ask for! Time for another Cup.”

Tyler Seguin, who tore it up for EHC Biel in Switzerland during the work stoppage, echoed Lucic’s sentiments.

“Can't wait to get back on the Garden ice for the best fans in the league,” the 20-year-old winger tweeted.

“From my grandparents to our B’s fans,” Ference wrote, “I am deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey. All we can do now is play our hearts out for you.”

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.