Bettman says sorry

Bettman’s personal message: “I’m sorry”


As expected, the NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously ratified the league’s new collective bargaining agreement today in New York.

But it was commissioner Gary Bettman’s personal message to the players, sponsors, and “most importantly to our fans,” that stood out:

“I’m sorry.”

Bettman acknowledged that no explanation was going to erase the hard feelings that the lockout caused.

“I read the letters, I followed the tweets, I read the blogs,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Part of that work, according to the commissioner, will involve “outreaches” and “campaigns” aimed at reconnecting with the fans.

Bettman went on to praise the 10-year CBA as one he believes is good for the long-term health of the league.

“This is a good deal, this is a fair deal,” he said he told the owners, while admitting that ”not everyone gets what they want…on either side.”

As for his own future, Bettman called any talk of his departure “unfounded speculation” and that he’s looking forward to growing the game.

Now it’s the players’ turn to approve the deal. The NHLPA is expected to finish voting electronically by Saturday, with training camp likely to open Sunday.

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.