Fans, Players Gear Up for 48-Game NHL Season

Updated: 01/08/2013 12:20 PM KSTP.com By: Ellen Galles

The Wild players were back at the Xcel Energy Center Monday, but will fans return as well?

It looks that way. 

According to the Minnesota Wild, fewer than 10 percent of the season ticket holders took the refund option. The rest chose to collect interest on the games that were missed. 

The Wild says they've gotten lots of calls and questions from fans and season ticket holders, but they can't say much until a schedule is released...that could happen as soon as the end of the week... and the season could officially begin as soon as Jan. 15.

The NHL appears headed toward a 48-game season for the second time in two decades.
    
"I think 48 is most likely at this point, unless the players can expedite their ratification process," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email Monday to The Associated Press.
    
The NHL shortened its 82-game slate to 48 games for the 1994-95 season after the 103-day lockout.  A 301-day lockout in 2004-05 made the NHL the first major North American professional sports league to lose an entire season.

The lockout could wipe out perhaps $1 billion in revenue this season because about 40 percent of the regular-season schedule won't be played.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.