The lockout is over, games are being played, fans are back in the stands and it's onward and upward for the NHL, right?
On the surface, things look far better than either Gary Bettman or Don Fehr had a right to expect. However, the problems associated with the lockout that may have weakened the sport have not disappeared.
During the lockout, angry fans issued utterances that were along the lines of not coming back and having players compete in empty arenas.
It didn't happen that way. When the players returned and the schedule started Jan. 19, it was a watershed of relief for everyone concerned.
But that doesn't mean that all is forgiven and there will be no problems in the future.
Actually, the NHL has several issues that it will have to address much better if it is going to alleviate the problems associated with the four-month lockout.