Two weeks ago it wasn't at all clear that this would happen. One week ago you still held out some fear of a Fehr bomb derailing the delayed resolution the misery the dysfunctional NHL-NHLPA relationship put us through.
Now, we're prepping for a day of hockey, and at least one more home opener at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
We'll have a lot of coverage today -- we're kind of excited about all this, even if the roster changes since last year are pretty meh. So we'll kick things off with an open thread, some links, and the official season-opening roster as Lubomir Visnovsky (homebound Islesaphobia), Josh Bailey (knee, lockout) and Jesse Joensuu (groin, lockout) begin the season suspended.
- Video: Newsday talks to Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson and John Tavares on starting up after the lockout.
- Newsday also has talk of a timeless topic: Avoiding a bad start.
- Hornick's Skinny for tonight. This is the eighth season-opening home opener in franchise history, though four of them come in the last four seasons.
- Bridgeport: Kirill Kabanov is very close to taking full contact. The Sound Tigers are home to Binghamton tonight.
- And the Post on Nino Niederreiter and Matt Donovan making the AHL All-Star Game, as well as coach Scott Pellerin describing why Nino is still in the AHL after his strong first half.
- NEW: In the Post, Jack Capuano: "We have two quality goaltenders, so we're going to go with the hot hand."
- And here's the Post's full preview for the Isles season.
And here is where you leave your FIG picks for tonight.
Opening Night Roster
With three scratches to be determined (though we all have our guesses), here are the names and numbers to start the season:
10. Keith Aucoin
36. Eric Boulton
24. Brad Boyes
53. Casey Cizikas
40. Michael Grabner
17. Matt Martin
13. Colin McDonald
26. Matt Moulson
51. Frans Nielsen
21. Kyle Okposo
16. Marty Reasoner
91. John Tavares
41. David Ullstrom
7. Matt Carkner
52. Joe Finley
3. Travis Hamonic
14. Thomas Hickey
47. Andrew MacDonald
4. Radek Martinek
37. Brian Strait
2. Mark Streit
39. Rick DiPietro
20. Evgeni Nabokov