"On behalf of the National Hockey League's Board of Governors, I am pleased to report that today we unanimously voted to ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the National Hockey League Players' Association. Which means, to our fans all around the globe, hockey is back.
"This great game has been gone for far too long, and for that we are truly sorry.
"The Board today also expressed its appreciation for the professionalism and commitment, to our clubs and to the sport, that Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Daly displayed throughout this difficult period. Gary, Bill and their staff worked tirelessly from long before the lockout began in an effort to reach a constructive conclusion. Gary and Bill have the complete and unconditional support of the Board – and our gratitude.
"As our League moves toward what we know will be a period of growth for the sport, and a time of great excitement and entertainment for our fans, I would add the appreciation of the Board for the dedication the players showed during the negotiating process – and for their role in securing an agreement that will move the National Hockey League forward in the years ahead. There’s no doubt we all love this game.
"Together our collective future is extremely bright.
"Our only interest now is to look ahead and to focus on what this great game can provide to the best sports fans in the world."