The National Hockey League is now back on the ice after a 113 day lockout. To me and many other fans, players, and anyone else associated with the NHL this lockout has taken an eternity to end. Now that the lockout is finally over, what has the NHL, NHLPA, and fans lost this time. Well for starters the NHL has lost 625 games, a little over 50% of the season and canceled fan favorite events Winter Classic and the All-Star game. Of course there are several fans out there that "say" they will boycott the rest of this abbreviated NHL season, but that remains to be seen. The NHL is the perfect drug, it can hurt you at times, but you can't ever seem to get enough.

Now to focus on the Dallas Stars. 2012 has definitely been a surprising and hopefully will be a defining year for the Stars. First with the trades of fan favorites Steve Ott to (BUF) and Sheldon Souray to (ANA) and the acquisitions of NHL stars Jagr, Whitney, and Derek Roy this year was going to be exciting until the lockout happened. One bright spot for the Stars during this lockout, Roy has been cleared to play after shoulder surgery. So now that the NHL will have a season, what can we expect from the Dallas Stars this year? I think it is hard to say with the mix of veterans and young guns at this point, but we will see soon.

As for the NHL fans new and old, what can they take from all this? I think for one, the NHL is a business, might not always have the best people making the decisions, but nevertheless it has it's flaws just like the NFL and the NBA. Secondly don't forget those that depend on the NHL to provide for their families, namely the vendors, concessions, announcers, hosts, and anyone that makes these games possible. And finally, not to forget the NHL is not the only hockey league, if you live in an area the has leagues like the AHL, CHL, OHL, ECHL, and the NAHL go out there and support them. They are the next stars of the NHL. Finally during all this maddness of this lockout, I found many hockey fans connected through the power of social media, with that being said check out this fan video by Janne Makkonen, I know there were other videos out there, but this was one of my favorites. Oh and one more thing, GO STARS!!