News of the NHL lockout hit around 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, and it didn't take long at all for players from across the league to start reacting.
First was Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, whom we could probably credit for beating all of the reporters and breaking the news of the lockout's demise with one simple tweet.
Who has a thumb and a new CBA deal? This guy.
That wasn't all that Ference tweeted, though. He also had a series of tweets as an apology to fans for what everybody just endured. Get ready to see a lot of apologies coming your way, Joe Fan.
From my grandparents to our B's fans, I am deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey. All we can do now is play our hearts out for you— Andrew Ference (@Ferknuckle) January 6, 2013
As players we can now do what we do best. Proudly pull on our jerseys and play with complete passion for our cities and fans.— Andrew Ference (@Ferknuckle) January 6, 2013
I hope that we can replace the intense negativity brought on our sport with a reminder of how great it can be when the action is on the ice.— Andrew Ference (@Ferknuckle) January 6, 2013
Ference wasn't the only one, though. Here's what NHL players were saying on Twitter after the deal came down. Notice the renewed civility players are showing toward NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Scot Beckenbaugh, next time I'm in NYC, dinner is on me. Thanks for helping get us back on the ice. #NHL— Sam Gagner (@89SGagner) January 6, 2013
Nice to have work again! Thanks to Don and everyone in NY. #HereWeGo— Hal Gill (@Skillsy75) January 6, 2013
Let's play hockey! been on the road for an hour planning to get to STL a few days ahead of time, but maybe I was just a few hours ahead— David Perron (@DP_57) January 6, 2013
Glad to have a deal done, thanks to all our fans out there who suffered through this with us... Looking forward to hitting the ice!!!— George Parros (@GeorgeParros) January 6, 2013
Game On!!! #BuffaloSoldier Time— Steve Ott (@otterN9NE) January 6, 2013
Great news!! #NHL— Michal Neuvirth (@mneuvirth30) January 6, 2013
That was fast, one minute I'm bussing to our next game and the next I'm standing with my bags in hand at a random train station..— Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9) January 6, 2013
Even somebody from the owners' side snuck a few tweets in Sunday morning. That would be Panthers CEO Michael Yormark. I'm not sure if the gag order is technically lifted yet on the owners since the deal hasn't been ratified, but I imagine the league will let this one slip.
It's a great feeling to know we will drop the puck this season. Can't wait to see all of our incredible fans.#hockeyisback.— Michael R. Yormark (@PanthersYormark) January 6, 2013
And last but not least, the captain of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Finally— dustin brown (@DustinBrown23) January 6, 2013
Couldn't have said it better myself.