As millions of Canadians breathed a collective sigh of relief on Monday at the news the NHL lockout will, most likely, finally be over, there were a few who were just breathing a little easier.
© Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
Summerside Doolys manager, Karla Flynn, pours a pint as news of the end of the NHL lockout plays in the background. Flynn is hopeful she can finally put professional hockey back on for customers.
Local bars that traditionally have NHL hockey playing in the background during prime business hours have had to make do with other sports, and hockey of lesser quality, during the lockout.
The Journal Pioneer touched base with several local watering holes, and managers at each one expressed happiness that the season was back on, and not just for their own love of the sport.
While Summerside lacks a true sports bar, Dooly’s on Water Street seems to serve as the local equivalent.
Manager Karla Flynn said that while business loss to date has been minimal, there is always a noticeable jump in sales around the NHL finals.
“I think if they had of stayed out all year… A lot of people will get together and watch games when there’s playoffs,” she said.
For the past few months they’ve made do with having football on the TVs around the bar, she added, and while there are NFL fans around, there’s not enough of a local market to bring people to the bar.
Out at the Kensington Club it’s the same story.
Everyone’s relieve there will be, at the very least, an NHL playoff, said Tina Leblanc, club manager.
The regulars were the ones who really missed having hockey on TV, she added, but they would likely be around anyway.
At least now when customers come in they can talk about hockey — rather than the lack thereof, she laughed.