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NHL takes out full-page newspapers ads to apologize to fans

Jan 17, 2013, 10:44 AM EDT

Gary Bettman, Bill Daly AP

The National Hockey League has issued a formal apology to hockey fans through a series of full-page advertisements in a number of major North American newspapers.

Here’s the full version of the apology, courtesy the Boston Globe:

Dear fans:

As your teams prepare for the opening face-off of the 2012-13 season, we thank you for your patience and we apologize to you for the time we missed. From today forward, we will do everything we can to make this season worth the wait.

We are committed to earning back your trust and support the same way it’s earned on the ice: with hard work and unwavering dedication. Your cheers drive us forward, and we’re committed to making you proud to be a fan – by delivering a game with the action, the skill and the intensity you deserve.

Like you, we’ve missed NHL hockey. We’ve missed the clutch goals, the big hits, the electrifying saves. We’ve missed the flash of red light, the sound of the siren and the way the building shakes when the home team scores.

It’s time to focus on the best athletes in the world, on the enduring greatness of the game and – above all – on the connection that binds fans, players and families everywhere. NHL hockey is the best in the world. The future is incredibly bright. So let’s drop the puck and marvel at all the remarkable things the players do with it.

With respect and appreciation,
The National Hockey League.

P.S. We hope you’ll get in on the action. And again, thank you.

This follows in the footsteps of a number of NHL clubs, who reached out and apologized to their respective fans following the end of the lockout.

For more, click here.

  1. bennywuh - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    ………. now here’s free Center Ice….. come on, say it.

    • therealjr - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      It is. Through January 31. But otherwise that ship has sailed – ain’t happening.

      Too bad they didn’t take all the money they wasted on stupid full page ads and put it towards a rebate program.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      A free month of games to lure you back, amirite?

  2. millertime30 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Hm.. and I woke up, this morning to an empty roll of toilet paper..
    Coincidence? I think not.

    • florida727 - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Thanks #millertime. You’ll have me laughing all night. Priceless. (Oh wait, that’s a MasterCard commercial, never mind.)

      Want to apologize NHL? Lower ticket prices for the rest of the “season”, and free Center Ice, also for the rest of the season. Do that, and I’ll be the first to say, “apology accepted”.

  3. spongebobsportspants - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    It was a labor dispute. It happens. I want an apology for the fact that within 30 seconds, the Leafs presale was sold out. Best I could get was a single seat for $234, (I passed). I want an apology for high ticket prices and the lack of availability. PS That is why my buddies and I go to Columbus to watch the Leafs. Here’s to next season and our biannual Columbus trip!

    • elvispocomo - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      And I know a bunch of Canucks fans do a road trip to Phoenix/Cali every year. I’m sure that’s the case with a number of the best attended teams, so just whose fans are in those teams’ stadiums anyway?

      We don’t want a newspaper ad apology, we want the NHL to take action on the things that are a problem with the sport we love.

  4. upyourstodd - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    That P.S. should have read “P.S. we hope you still line our pockets with your cash.”

  5. elemeno89 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    don’t chastise me gary. i remember waaaaaaaaaay back when there was one group willing to play while negotiations were underway, protecting a full season. and another group that said they would not operate under the then current cba at the time. and im pretty sure i know which group you were a part of.

    you want to make it up to me? here’s what you do. offer an INCENTIVE. not a full page ad in a newspaper that i dont subscribe too. not a patronizing “thank you fans” blurb written on center ice for a home town team im too far removed to really look at. not a discounted broken product that you still clammor profits from.

    the perfect incentive for me to forgive this incredibly stupid lockout, would be for you to pack your bags, and move waaaaaay up north to northern Saskatchewan. atleast up there, there maybe some people that dont know you well enough so that you can screw over for twenty years.

    p*** off….

  6. pooinyourface - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    too bad they dont play Colombus this year

  7. crambow - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    It’s not necessarily impolite to snicker while you extend the Kleenex box as long as it’s in a sincere manner, That and no one catches you snickering, of course.

  8. blues1988 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    great handle/ post combo!

  9. Woody Bass - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Little late for that

  10. bricktop02 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Kiss my Irish Piss hole.

  11. mp1131211 - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Who is the head of marketing for the NHL?

  12. woodstakes - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Looks almost like a real apology except this line should be a little different:

    “We are committed to earning back your trust and support the same way it’s earned on the ice: with hard work and unwavering dedication. Your cheers drive us forward, and we’re committed to making you proud to be a fan – by delivering a game with the action, the skill and the intensity you deserve.”

    Insert “Your dollars…” for “Your cheers…” and that would actually be accurate.

    At any rate the lockout was stupid and always will be. The first chance one of these owners who say “The player salaries are what is killing the NHL.” get to sign a player to a long term contract. They do it and slightly overpay, albeit to a good player yet many would view the stat line does not deserve the dollar amount. Instead of making an example that we’ve learned our lesson and are going to try to keep salaries down they go right back to the same ‘ole same ‘ole. During the lockout I said this over and over again.. nothing is EVER going to change until owners/GM’s are willing to let players walk if they don’t take their “Best Offer”, but as we all have seen during the lockout, the owners “Best Offer” is never really the best offer its just what they are willing to offer today.

    So Yay! We have hockey back and Yay we will have it for the next 8 years for sure, but if anyone out there believes there won’t be a lockout again after this CBA expires you are fooling yourself. All the above apology above is to placate us fans, because Gary and the owners know we will come running back. So the apology is a joke, its PR and nothing more. To me the only way to prove they are really sorry is to not allow a lockout to happen ever again. If a CBA is not working at year 5-6 then start talking to the PA about the issues, get I don’t know a little proactive and stop screwing over your cash cow.

  13. sabatimus - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I was going to say “apology not accepted” but I can’t say that knowing I’ll be watching a LOT of hockey come Saturday.

    • lordstanley65 - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Yup…me too. I’ll be damned if I’ll put any money in Jacobs’pocket though. Televised games only this year.And no merchandise,either.

      • millertime30 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        that’s pretty much where i stand, as well. not trying to convince anybody that i won’t be watching, but i won’t spend a cent on the NHL brand for at least this season.

  14. northstars17 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:10 PM


    SUCK it Bettman!

  15. northstars17 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    amen people.

    I went to see the Bruins vs.Kings last year at staples center in LA… got 2 tickets for 37$ a piece…

    well guess what? those 37$ seats are now 150$ this season!!!!

    the NHL is doing nothing to incent the fans to attend live. oh yeah a free hotdog in Columbus!

    I don’t even hate to say it… I GLADLY will watch every playoff game and all 70 regular season games on the NBC networks as I’ve already been paying for them as part of my cable.

    no purchases of any NHL items (almost everything has the NHL hologram on it and teams have to give um a huge percent)

    in 2 months Bettman will act like nothing ever happened and the action on ice “is better than ever!”

  16. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    I’ll forgive Bettman if there’s never another lockout under his regime.

  17. ksctychiefs - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    same here……i’ll be watching whatever’s on dish….but not buying center ice this season,and no merchandise on this season either……maybe next season,will think about it…..

  18. drewsylvania - Jan 18, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Don’t apologize, just don’t do it.

  19. 1historian - Jan 18, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    At least you hockey fans are smart enough to admit you’re suckers.

  20. gibbskins9 - Jan 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    To little to late, RIP Hockey

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