Capitals owner Ted Leonsis on Thursday issued an apology to fans for the lockout, posted entirely on his blog.
Leonsis, who was part of the NHL’s negotiating committee, wrote that he knew fans had “agonized” during the lockout.
“I apologize for my role in not being able to help us reach a more timely agreement,” he wrote. “I’m sorry it took this long.”
Leonsis made a brief appearance Thursday morning at Washington’s practice facility during players’ informal workouts. He spoke to coach Adam Oates, assistant Tim Hunter and forward Brooks Laich before departing the area behind the bench.
“I empathize with our fans – losing games in this manner was upsetting, and we are sorry for all of the inconvenience it caused,” Leonsis wrote on his blog. “We know we have fences to mend, and we must work hard to rebuild trust and continue to grow our great hockey community. I promise personally to lead this effort and to show contrition; this entire experience has been extremely humbling.”
Thursday’s blog post was much expanded from Leonsis’ brief statement released on the Caps’ website Sunday, the day the lockout ended. In that statement he thanked fans for their “patience, support and understanding during this process.”
On Thursday, he wrote that the Caps’ goal is simple: to build the best team possible and “commit ourselves to winning the Stanley Cup.” He also wrote he believed the new collective bargaining agreement provides long-term stability for the NHL.
“To all Caps fans – local and long-distance – thank you for your ongoing support and your support of our players, we truly appreciate it. You are terrific fans, and we have worked extremely hard for many years to grow that relationship, and we have been rewarded with fantastic support,” Leonsis wrote. “It is now incumbent upon us to be a first-class partner not only with our players but also with our fans. It is time to move forward in the best way we can, together.”
Click here to read the post in its entirety.