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NHL wins big at SportsBusiness Journal Awards

2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings

ANN ARBOR, MI - JANUARY 01: during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Gregory Shamus

Remember that whole lockout thing? Well, it appears the National Hockey League has rebounded quite nicely since the labor dispute came to an end in January of 2013.

These Stanley Cup playoffs, now into the conference finals, have been lauded for the speed and skill on display, as well as the factor that anything has been possible, with comebacks upon comebacks.

On Wednesday, while the Chicago Blackhawks and L.A. Kings did battle in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, the NHL took home hardware at the SportsBusiness Journal Awards.

In all, the league earned three awards:

“Usually I’m standing with a trophy and getting booed. It’s strange to be receiving one and be cheered,” said commissioner Gary Bettman.

“Our athletes are the best in team sports. We wouldn’t be standing here tonight without the players,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, as per the SportsBusiness Journal Twitter account.

The NHL took home the award for the second time in four years, according to the league’s website.

Bettman said this year’s Winter Classic was “the biggest and best New Year’s Day party in our history.” It was a huge success in terms of television ratings and the league sold more than 105,000 tickets to the event at the Big House, which provided a beautiful setting on a snowy afternoon for a match-up between two historic Original Six rivals, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

As per the NHL’s public relations department, the 2008 Winter Classic in Buffalo also won for this award.

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