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

Comments (7)

  1. Hey NHL, thanks for your open letter to fans in today’s paper. YSK, it didn’t put a smile back on my face. Especially that part in the third paragraph when you say you’re just like me. In almost half a century of playing and watching hockey, I can’t remember a single instance of talking about “clutch” goals, “big” hits, or “electrifying” saves.

    If you’re truly committed to earning back my trust and support, fire your PR crisis management team.

  2. honestly, i just wish the NHL would shut up. Let the game speak for itself, and don’t give me any other reasons to *want* to turn it off.

    • Yeah, half the people complaining and saying that they’ll boycott the NHL will be back the second the puck drops.

  3. Ugh, do they not realize how corporate and sterile that letter is?

  4. I realize that stuff like free center ice or whatnot was a stretch to receive, especially since the NHL needs ticket sales, but as someone who is a big hockey fan who doesn’t live in an NHL market, I feel like they’re ignoring us. I occasionally buy stuff from, for myself, or gifts or whatnot, and you know, a “we’re sorry” discount (5-10%, nothing excessive) would be nice. Full page ads are ok I guess, but theres nothing in my local paper about this.

    I hate to be the “what about me” person but there are lots of hockey fans who don’t go to games because they don’t live near a NHL team to go see. Do we not exist to the NHL?

  5. Meaningless letter. For comparison, the following is a full transcript of the NHLPA’s apology statement for their part in the prolonged negotiations:

  6. small market team are doin all kinds of nice stuff.. but teams that have massive fan bases… nnnnnoopppeee

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