In today's Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Red Wings took out a full page ad that appeared in the sports section:
As you know, this year has been a turbulent one for the Detroit Red Wings, the NHL, our dedicated fans and the many businesses who count on the game of hockey to earn a living. We want you to know how extremely sorry we are that your Red Wings have not played hockey this season.
The Red Wings have a long history in the Detroit area dating back to 1926, and our wonderful fans have enthusiastically supported the team throughout the many decades. Our family has always been avid hockey fans. We bought the team in 1982 because we love hockey and we are passionate about Detroit. We knew it would take a little time to rebuild the team into a Stanley Cup contender, and we truly appreciate our fans that stood by us as we accomplished that feat. It is disappointing for all of us that the Red Wings were unable to make a run for their eleventh Stanley Cup this past year.
The decision by the League to cancel the season until a new CBA was agreed upon was extremely difficult one, but necessary for the long-term success of the NHL. As an Original Six member of the NHL and a firm believer that a healthy league will be best for all involved, especially the fans, we support the decision that was made. We know how disappointing this necessary action was and we share in your frustration.
It is not by chance that Detroit is known as Hockeytown. It is you, the fans, that have made Detroit and its hockey team the envy of all cities where hockey is played. We appreciate your continued support of the Red Wings and our partners in downtown Detroit. It is our sincere hope that we will see you at Joe Louis Arena in the fall. Thank you for standing by us as we work to solidify the game of hockey for many years to come.
Sincerely, Mike and Marian Ilitch