(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - For hockey fans, it has been a long four months without their favorite sport.
Hockey is common conversation at Pure Hockey in Berlin. On Monday, customers said they couldn't be happier to hear it's game on for the NHL.
“It’s going to be a fun little six weeks of hockey,” says fan Alex Mazza. “I’m looking forward to it"
“I think the league has too many teams that are unprofitable but I’m glad I can watch hockey again,” says fan Jim Milewski.
Hockey fans like Milewski say they've had a hard time without their favorite sport, having to find other ways to fill the void.
"I was reading a lot more, believe it or not."
“More movies, maybe a little more football,” says Pam Aggerback.
Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and more
As the players pick their skates back up, DJ Delbuono says he hopes business picks up, too. He says the sale of novelty items has been down this season, in part because of the lockout.
"Hopefully people will get excited as things get underway,” says Delbuono. “Don't think it will get any slower.”
At New England Sports Center in Marlborough, players from all over say it doesn't matter what team they're rooting for as long as there's a game to cheer on.
"I was bummed it was going on this long, thought they'd have a deal earlier, but as long as they have a season, I’m pretty excited about it,” says Rangers fan Brad Anderson.
"It creates a real buzz when the Bruins are playing. I think the fans missed it, people missed it,” says New England Sports Center GM Wes Tuttle.
The excitement isn't limited to just the United States. Alex Leblanc is visiting from Quebec and says hockey is a way of life there. He says even an abbreviated season is great news.
“I think it's a good thing. On tv, we have nothing and hockey is a good thing we want to see.”
But as fans patiently wait for the season to start, many already have their own idea of how it will end.
What is Mazza looking forward to the most?
“Watching the Bruins win the cup!"