Hockey fans will likely have a lot of free time on their hands this winter since the NHL could be in the midst of a lockout for quite a while.
How are hockey fans supposed to have fun during the cold winter months without NHL games to watch and attend?
Let's look at seven ways that fans can pass the time during the work stoppage.
The lack of NHL games during the winter months is the perfect opportunity for you to discover some new sports that you have probably never played before.
Handball is one sport that is incredibly fun and not hard to set up in your local gym. It has some similarities to basketball, but it's a good way for anyone to stay in shape between sports seasons.
Handball is also a highly competitive game that people who play all sports will enjoy and benefit from in some way.
Whether it's handball, curling, water polo or snowboarding, take time during the lockout to experience new sports that you barely participate in. You might find a new hobby!
Have you ever dreamed of a hockey league that doesn't lockout often and doesn't have greedy owners or overpaid players? Make your dream a reality and form your own hockey league with friends and family.
Hockey is usually more enjoyable outside, especially when it's played on your local pond or lake.
Having little tournaments or full seasons in which games are played after school or on weekends is a great way to enjoy the sport without the NHL to watch.
Running your own mini-league, keeping stats from each game and competing for bragging rights among family and friends will make your winter without the NHL more enjoyable.
Since you might not be able to watch NHL games in your hockey man cave this winter, you might as well take some time to make improvements to the room.
Los Angeles Kings fans will have plenty of new Stanley Cup championship apparel to display in their man cave, while Detroit Red Wings fans may think about putting a framed Nicklas Lidstrom jersey on their wall following his retirement.
With the money you will save by not having to buy a full season of NHL Center Ice or NHL GameCenter Live, you can finally make some upgrades to your man cave.
Are you always the guy or girl who can't participate in conversations about the best hockey movies of all-time because you haven't seen some of them yet?
The NHL lockout will give people plenty of time to watch all the best hockey films such as Slap Shot, the Mighty Ducks series, Miracle and Goon.
No sport has more great movies than hockey, so having some film nights this winter to satisfy your need for hockey excitement might be a good idea.
Many people who don't finish their degree end up saying that they will return to their college/university at some point in the future to complete the requirements, but a lot of these people never do.
With no NHL games to enjoy on weeknights, there's no excuse for you to keep putting off a return to school. Take some night classes and get that degree you deserve.
For some added excitement, support your school's hockey team.
The place for the most intense hockey action of the season could be in the Canadian Hockey League and the Memorial Cup playoffs.
The Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League make up the CHL, which is the home to many of the top hockey prospects in the world.
Since many first-round picks from this year's draft won't make the NHL this season, watching CHL games will help fans monitor the progress of these prospects.
Since the 2013 NHL draft class includes so many great players, this is the perfect season to pay more attention to the CHL than you normally do.
For diehard hockey fans who don't pay much attention to other sports during the NHL season, this fall/winter will allow people to enjoy their other local sports teams with family and friends.
The MLB playoffs will begin soon, and even though you may find baseball a bit boring, playoff baseball in October provides some of the most memorable "where were you?" moments in sports.
Another sport that hockey fans might enjoy is world football. With the English Premier League and the Champions League seasons now underway, this is a great time to become a fan of the world's most popular sport.
Even though October should be the start of a new NHL season, hockey fans won't have to put much effort into finding some exciting sports action this fall and winter.