Handshake-gate:

Puck Daddy

NHL uses full-page ad in newspapers to apologize to fans (PHOTO)

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

Anyone that’s been in a long-term relationship understands that profuse apology is inseparable from seismic, unending guilt.

By our count, the NHL is now on its third major apology to fans for the lockout: Commissioner Gary Bettman's "I'm sorry" speech on Jan. 9; various pleas of contrition (and kickbacks to fans) from the 30 teams; and now, a full-page advertisement in major newspapers in every NHL market and national publications in the U.S. and Canada dropping Thursday and Friday:

View photo

.

(P.S.S. You have eight years until the opt-out is available. Enjoy it while you can.)

"2012-13 season?" Pardon? There is no 2012 part of this season. We spent the 2012 part of this season talking about revenue sharing and contract terms and PR battles. There are no awards for those to be given out in Las Vegas. Unless Frank Luntz is receiving one for all of his hard work in helping to craft this carefully constructed apology.

These apologies likely won't be the last efforts to get back in the good graces of fans. Even after the puck drops for real on Saturday, players, teams and the league will need to continue to repair their relationship with the fans. Outreach to the community will be vital because after a second lockout in eight years, there are still plenty of hard feelings.

Though, judging by the attendances at some training camps this week, not too hard.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

View Comments (260)
  • Canucks dump Flames, even series

    The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames have had some memorable playoff encounters over the years. Daniel Sedin and Chris Higgins snapped long post-season goal droughts and Eddie Lack made 22 saves as the Canucks downed the Flames 4-1 to even … More »

    The Canadian Press - 43 minutes ago
  • Flames fall in Game 2, return home to start best-of-five series against Canucks

    The Calgary Flames are heading home battered and bruised, but feeling positive about splitting the first two games of their Western Conference quarter-final with Vancouver. Despite being outclassed for most of Game 2 on Friday night in a lopsided … More »

    The Canadian Press - 47 minutes ago
  • Canucks take Game 2, combine for over 100 PIMs in brawl with Flames (Video)

    Canucks take Game 2, combine for over 100 PIMs in brawl with Flames (Video)

    Canucks take Game 2, combine for over 100 PIMs in brawl with Flames (Video) … More »

    Puck Daddy - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
  • Rest a thing of past, now comes the playoff grind

    Rest a thing of past, now comes the playoff grind

    Lose after a four-day break, like the St. Louis Blues did in their opener to the Minnesota Wild, and the familiar theme of rust affecting the outcome inevitably creeps into the conversation. The Central Division champions are trying not to blame … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • Preds rout Blackhawks 6-2, even series

    Preds rout Blackhawks 6-2, even series

    Beating the Chicago Blackhawks to avoid an 0-2 deficit before hitting the road is much, much sweeter. Craig Smith scored the first two playoff goals of his career and added an assist, and the Nashville Predators beat the Blackhawks 6-2 on Friday … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 32 minutes ago