NEW YORK (AP) -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman felt all the anger directed toward him as the lockout dragged on and threatened to wipe out the entire hockey season.
So when he stood on a podium bearing the league shield on Wednesday and announced that the owners unanimously approved the labor deal reached over the weekend with the players' association, he also took the time to mend badly damaged fences.
"To the players who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating labor contracts, to our partners who support the league financially and personally, and most importantly to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I am sorry," Bettman said.
The league's board of governors met in a Manhattan hotel Wednesday and overwhelmingly approved the agreement that was hammered out early Sunday on the 113th day of the lockout.
Bettman was well aware of all the negative talk during the four-month dispute that kept hockey off the ice and was contrite in a...