NEW YORK (AP) - Whatever damage was caused by the latest long NHL lockout, the league isn't feeling the fallout as it gets set to start this year's playoffs.
With just a few days left in the shortened 48-game season a look back shows that fans are still flocking to arenas and still tuning in on TV sets.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told a meeting of Associated Press Sports Editors on Friday that teams are filling up their buildings to 97.4 percent of capacity, and television ratings on a national level in the United States and Canada, as well as in local markets, are up considerably.
And that is just from a regular season that was delayed from October until January and was in jeopardy from happening at all until the NHL and the players' association hammered out a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement to save it.
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