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Bettman: business is great, so is ‘competitive balance’

Apr 26, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

Gary Bettman AP

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman painted a rosy picture of the league’s bottom line today at a meeting of Associated Press Sports Editors.

Even after a lockout that left a shortened 48-game schedule, Bettman said that “the business has been strong this season” and that “continued growth” is expected.

NHL fans — of whom Bettman said, “They come back because they love the game. We are grateful on a daily basis for our fans.” — have packed rinks in 2013 despite voicing considerable anger during the work stoppage.

Bettman also praised the NHL’s “competitive balance,” which he believes is “the best in sports.”

“There are no nights that are easy nights that you can write off,” he said, “because a couple of points may be the difference in making the playoffs.”

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