There’s a reason people have storage lockers. For some, it may be a place to keep a crib for when they decide to have another child. For others, it’s a place to keep your golf clubs over winter. For the NHL, it’s a place to keep their apology machine for after every lockout.

The league finally found the weird, small key that opens that locker today, rolled out the ‘ol sorry-maker, and used it to put a full page “our bad” in the Boston Globe today.

It read:

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.

I particularly like “From today forward…”, as in “prior to this, we were like ‘fuck y’all,’ but we realize now that it’s your money we need to get rich. Please come back.”

I mean, I’m in NHL, but I’d kinda still like to see you grovel a bit.

(S/t to Kukla’s Korner and Boston.com)