Commissioner Bettman Pens Letter To Fans on Precipice of Playoffs

Hockey is back! The 2020 NHL playoffs begin at noon on Saturday, with the Capitals kicking off their 2020 postseason campaign on Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman issued a letter to fans prior to the official restart on Saturday.

Happy Re-Opening Day, everybody.

If you love the game the way I do, and I’m guessing you do, this day couldn’t come quickly enough — and noon ET can’t come quickly enough.

Our game — the greatest game in the world, played by the best athletes in the world for the most coveted trophy in the world — is back on the ice. We begin with the Hurricanes and Rangers and then we’re off on what will be undeniably unprecedented and impossibly thrilling.

It has been 142 days since I made an announcement I never could have imagined making and hope no NHL Commissioner ever has to make again. During those 142 days, while our games stopped, the world changed. And we had to change with it.

Working with our players to come up with not just a Return to Play plan that met the challenge of a pandemic, but also an extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, required us to think and act in completely new ways. But, just as important, the killing of George Floyd and ensuing demand for justice and equality that inspiringly swept our countries, required us to accept that what we have done to this point isn’t enough. So we must and will do more and be better to make our game a welcoming place for everyone.

I was asked often during The Pause in our season why we didn’t give up the quest to finish the 2019-20 season and simply move on to next season. One reason is that our players wanted to finish what they had started – and were willing to make tremendous personal sacrifices to do so. But another reason – the most important reason – is that you, our fans, told us that you wanted us to see this through and crown a Stanley Cup champion.

Amid all the excitement about finally dropping the puck again this afternoon, we are all left a bit empty because you can’t be in the stands. But while COVID-19 renders us powerless to do anything about that for now, we are dedicated to ensuring that what you see watching at home will be the best Stanley Cup Playoffs we’ve ever had.

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

Be well. Stay healthy. And enjoy.

Gary Bettman

The 2020 playoffs begin at high noon with the Rangers and Hurricanes doing battle in game 1 of their best-of-five series.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to Commissioner Bettman Pens Letter To Fans on Precipice of Playoffs

  1. Harry says:

    Welcome to Woke is Broke. In case you have not noticed. NHL fans and the people that support the NHL are not Woke. Supporting BLM is. Look at the stats for the kneelers in other professional sports and even you might figure it out. Being stupid seems to be an unfortunate trait.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely you are not implying that kneeling directly correlates to a worse record. Now THAT would be stupid.

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