The Boston Bruins would have hated to miss the 2012-13 season after being one of the better teams in the NHL the past few years, so it's great news that the NHL will return on Jan. 19.
The season will contain 48 games, beginning next Saturday with a lineup purportedly filled with matchups between rivals. However, a Columbus Blue Jackets reporter revealed that team had no idea who they would play to open the year, or when -- just that they'd find out within two to three days. Teams will be allowed to open training camps possibly as soon as Saturday, although that could be pushed back until Monday depending on how quickly the CBA is ratified.
Boston obviously won the Stanley Cup in 2011, but sealed the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference last year before a surprising playoff upset at the hands of the Washington Capitals. They locked in many of their free agents in the offseason before the lockout, but will lose goalie Tim Thomas, who is still taking the year off from hockey.