For NBA fans fearing a lost 2011-12 season, fear not — there are plenty of exciting sports events to tide you over.

Like the MLB playoffs. Or the NFL season. Or college football. Or the MLS playoff hunt. Or...the return of the NHL.

That’s right, hockey is back. And if you needed a reminder, Vancouver Canucks winger Aaron Volpatti has a right hook with your name on it.

San Jose’s Brad Winchester needed such a reminder in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Canucks and Volpatti was happy to oblige.

It wasn’t quite Evander Kane vs. Matt Cooke, but hey, it’s the preseason.

The moral of the story: hockey is back.

(H/T Puck Daddy)