After 104 days of bickering hockey’s finally back on the tube.

NHL club owners and locked-out players reached a deal Jan. 11 that allowed teams to get on with a 48-game season, the shortest NHL schedule in more than 50 years. With such a short season and every loss hurting a team’s playoff chances, action is expected to be heated.

“Every game is a four-pointer,” commented Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers in one newspaper.

But some are still bitter about the dispute. “Who won? Who lost? Who cares?” was how Gazette sports columnist Jack Todd put it. “It should be obvious by now to anyone who can go out in public without a drool bib that everyone lost in this latest round of chicken—except the owners,” wrote Todd in a column.

In the deal, NHL owners didn’t get the team salary cap or payroll tax they wanted to hold down salaries. But they did get a cap on rookie salaries, plus new restrictions on free agency and salary arbitration that will slow the escalation of players’ pay. Still, the biggest issue dividing small and big-market teams—the question of revenue-sharing—isn’t addressed in the deal.

That’s why Marcel Aubut, president and co-owner of the Quebec Nordiques, voted against the pact reached with players.

“I recognize the fact that the majority of the industry can live with the agreement that was negotiated, but it’s difficult to accept for a small market such as Quebec,” he told reporters.

Retired NHL superstar Guy Lafleur agreed with Aubut. “With no salary cap, sure, some teams will get into trouble,” he said at a news conference. “Within the next 10 years, only three teams will be in Canada—Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. I don’t sec Quebec, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary paying $5 or $6 million for a player. I don’t know how they can afford it.”