To our Penguins Fans and Community:
We offer our apology. There is nothing we can say to explain or excuse what has happened over the past four months.
However, now that the NHL is back, we want to assure you that the Pittsburgh Penguins will do everything we can to regain your trust and show how much we value your amazing support.
The sounds of skates churning across the ice and pucks banging against the glass are returning to CONSOL Energy Center. That means a healthy Sidney Crosby is about to rejoin NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin, first-team All-Star James Neal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and others as we begin our quest to bring the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh.
We want to thank you for your patience and your loyalty to the Penguins. We hope to repay it many times over. Our commitment to winning the Stanley Cup and our commitment to you has not changed.
We look forward to seeing you at CONSOL Energy Center.
Even in an environment where we as fans might naturally blame owners for the lockout (but not our owner!) the Penguins present a pretty easy forgive from my perspective.
This was clearly not a team driving the lockout, Pittsburgh did well under the terms of the old CBA and was a productive franchise for the league on and off the ice. They had no voice on the league's powerful negotiating committee, which was seen as the head directors of Gary Bettman's agenda.
Further, Pens owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux led a charge in December to end the lockout. Both dedicated a lot of time and energy to end the madness that was the 2012-13 NHL lockout.
It's a shame we lost so much of the season, but as far as I'm concerned, I can accept the Penguins apology. I believe it to be sincere.
That aside, I'm happy they reached out and all, but I think we all will be happier when the puck is dropped and Consol Energy Center is full of cheering fans again.