BUFFALO – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic:
“This was a memorable and outstanding afternoon, and I want to thank everyone who had something to do with making this game possible – in particular the Sabres and Penguins, the Bills, the city of Buffalo, the NHL’s ice crew and the entire NHL staff. Their close collaboration conquered significant challenges and achieved a superbly successful event.
“I also thank the fans. This was a fun afternoon – fun for the 71,000-plus in attendance and fun for the viewers of NBC, the CBC and RDS, all of whom did a terrific job covering the game. Based on the response, on our ability to execute, and the inquiries we’re getting from other clubs for similar activities, this obviously is something we’re going to look at doing again. This is the type of event we certainly will be looking at doing in the future.”
I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.
— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final