EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 2, 2012

NHL lockout leaves local fans in the cold

(Continued)

Additionally, local high school players are lacing up their skates for team practices and will begin games as soon as next week.

When he’s not at the rink playing or coaching, Corcoran, 46, said he’s watched a few college games on TV and plans to attend an AHL contest or two this winter. If the NHL season is cancelled, Corcoran said the impact could be felt in the youth hockey ranks.

“Over time, you see the numbers dwindle,” said Corcoran.

The same might hold true at the adult recreational level. While ice time is still being sold at Methuen High School, ice rink manager Paul Trussell said attendance is down: pick-up games once featuring 20 skaters are now down to 10 or 12, he said.

“Our numbers are low,” said Trussell. “Nobody’s watching hockey, so nobody’s got the fever to play.”

A Bruins season ticket holder for five years, Trussell said he’ll lose nearly $3,000 if the lockout forces the cancellation of the entire season because the franchise won’t offer him full refund.

“I’m losing my shirt,” said Trussell. “And so are all the other season ticket holders ... All the small people are taking a hit.”

Trussell’s message to the players and owners is simple: “Do the right thing. Get back to work so everybody’s happy.”

“We miss hockey,” said Trussell. “It’s an empty feeling.”

A League on Ice The NHL lockout is 79 days old. So far 422 games have been erased from the schedule. A brief timeline of events: Sept. 15: Team owners lock out players as collective bargaining agreement expires Oct. 16-18: Owners' CBA proposal, counter proposals from players' union gain no traction Nov. 2: Cancellation of Jan. 1 Winter Classic outdoor game Nov. 21: Owners reject players' latest proposal Nov. 23: Cancellation of all games through Dec. 14 and All-Star Game Nov. 29: Sides scrap federal mediation after two days of talks without progress Boston Bruins Abroad A number of Bruins are now playing overseas in professional leagues. How a few are fairing so far: Name League Games Goals Assists Tyler Seguin Swiss Elite 21 20 12 David Krejci Czech Extraliga 17 8 9 Patrice Bergeron Swiss Elite 13 9 10 Zdeno Chara KHL 16 3 5 Dennis Seidenberg German Elite 16 1 8 -- Brian Messenger

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