"To the players, who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating labor contracts; to our partners, who support the League financially and personally; and, most importantly, to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I am sorry," Commissioner Bettman said. "I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless.
"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," Commissioner Bettman later added. "The players are ready to play their hearts out for you. The teams are preparing to welcome you back with open arms. The wait is just about over. Like all of you, we can't wait to drop the puck."
NHL.com is also reporting that the NHL Player's Association will complete the ratification this Saturday, and Bettman says the schedule will be released "instantaneously" after that. Hurry! I have to start planning the next three months of my life!