NHL Commissioner Bettman wishes fans a happy reopening day

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Have a good reopening day to all.If you love the game like I do, and I guess you love it, that day couldn’t come soon enough – and noon ET can’t come fast enough.

Our game – the world’s greatest match, played by the world’s best athletes for the world’s most coveted trophy – is back on the ice. We start with the Hurricanes and the Rangers and then we go on to what will be undeniably unprecedented and incredibly exciting.It’s been 142 days since I made an announcement that I could never have imagined making and I hope no NHL commissioner ever has to make again. During those 142 days, as our games stopped, the world changed. And we had to change with it.

Working with our players to craft not only a return-to-play plan that addresses the challenge of a pandemic, but also an extension of the collective agreement, has forced us to think and act in completely new ways. But, equally important, the murder of George Floyd and the resulting demand for justice and equality, which inspiringly swept through our countries, forced us to accept that what we have done so far will not not enough. We must therefore do more and be better to make our game a welcoming place for all.

I’ve been asked many times during Our Season’s Break why we haven’t given up on the quest to end the 2019-20 season and just move on to next season. One of the reasons is that our players wanted to finish what they started – and were willing to make huge personal sacrifices to do so. But another reason – the most important reason – is that you, our fans, have told us that you want us to see this through and crown a Stanley Cup champion.

In the midst of all the excitement of finally dropping the puck this afternoon, we’re all a little empty because you can’t be in the stands. But as COVID-19 makes us helpless to do anything about it for now, we’re committed to making sure what you see at home is the best Stanley Cup Playoffs we’ve got. never had.

I thank you for your patience. I thank you for your passion.

Be well. Stay healthy. And enjoy.

Gary Bettman



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