Hockey's back and so is biz cash flow

HIMANI EDIRIWEERA -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

For Leafs fans, hockey means an annual migration to a state of frenzy. For businesses, the congregation of devout followers means lots of cash.

During the lockout, local restaurants, bars and retailers suffered as hockey fans retired their Maple Leafs gear and went into hibernation.

But since the NHL season started last week, forgiving fans have come out of hiding and started spending their money on much-wanted paraphernalia for game nights.

"It was a tough season for me," said Carey Fredrixon, outside the Loose Moose on Front St., which began filling up well before game time.

"Movie Night in Canada just didn't cut it for me and it's not like me and the guys would hit a bar on a Saturday night just to watch a 20-year-old movie."

Mike Young, manager at Gretzky's, said fans started packing the bar and restaurant yesterday afternoon.

"The turnout has been larger than average, even during pre-season," Young said.

In town from Sudbury for last night's game, Micheline Langevin, 30, and Paul Legault, 28, had their wallets out as they made the rounds. They paid $300 for $50 tickets, visited the Hockey Hall of Fame and made a stop at Yonge St. Sports to buy a Domi jersey.


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