Gary Bettman is sorry.
With the third lockout on his watch winding to an end after NHL board of governors unanimously ratified the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement Wednesday in New York, the NHL commissioner issued a surprise apology from behind the same podium that became synonymous with negative news over the course of this latest work stoppage.
“We know no words of apology or explanation will soften the disappointment,” Bettman said. “I read the letters, I followed the tweets, I read the blogs. We have a lot of work to do. The National Hockey League has a responsibility to earn back your trust and support, whether you watch one game or every game. And that effort begins today.