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After A Long Wait, Fans Get The Blues

Bill Greenblatt

The St. Louis Blues kicked off their training camp Sunday morning with a practice that was free to the public.

Even though the team has a shortened season, plenty of fans are happy a lengthy labor standoff between players and owners has been put to rest.

Paul Fries was one of more than 6,000 people who finally got to see their team take the ice, though he thought the months-long staring contest between players and owners would derail the National Hockey League this year.

“I was really thinking there probably wouldn’t be a season,” Fries said.

But Jeff Hebenstreit figured they’d work things out: “I knew eventually they’d come around, just had to wait it out.”

And Ryan Gastreich said either way, he’s just happy to see professional hockey.

“I don’t know if there’s really words you can put to it," Gastreich said.  "It’s just ingrained in you.  Like they say, you bleed blue.” 

The team will start a shorter than normal season this Saturday with a home game against the Detroit Redwings. 

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