Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs issued the following Saturday, about an hour before the Bruins and New York Rangers drop the puck on the 2012-13 season:
Last week we announced that we reached an agreement on a new CBA and tonight the Bruins are back on the ice. When the puck drops, we put the last four months behind us and celebrate the return of hockey to Causeway Street. Like all of you I wanted nothing more than to have the season start on time in October. Make no mistake - it should have. The fact that we were unable to reach an agreement until just recently is a disappointment.
I want to personally apologize to our fans and others who depend on this team for their livelihood. But these are just words. The best way to make it up to you is to play hard and win.
I said last year after our playoff exit that the Stanley Cup is on loan. I really meant it. We have a strong team and one that I believe will be very competitive this season. I expect us to contend for the Cup. We have 48 games in 96 days before the playoffs.
It's no longer a marathon - it's truly a sprint.
But our advantage - and it's a significant one - is that we know how to win. I remember asking our players a few years ago how many of them had won the Cup. Just a few of our players raised their hand. Before the start of the last season I asked the same question. Nearly everyone raised their hand.
We want this for our team. We want this for our fans. We know what victory feels like and we want that feeling again. I can think of no better way to bring our team back together than to focus on our shared goal of winning another Stanley Cup for Boston, New England and Bruins fans around the world.