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Central champion Blues eager to get started

Updated: January 18, 2013, 12:30 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- About 15 minutes before the St. Louis Blues opened training camp, coach Ken Hitchcock was mystified by the roar coming from outside his office. He thought it might have been heavy machinery.

Players stepping onto the ice to warm up knew better. The sound they heard and the estimated 5,000 faces they saw in the stands was an unexpected welcome back from a die-hard fan base happy to see the end of the NHL lockout.

"Pretty awesome," said forward David Backes, the team captain. ...

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