NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league and its clubs will lose billions of dollars to stage an abridged 2021 season largely without fans, but he felt it was critical to play through the pandemic anyway.
\"Let me make something really clear: We\'re coming back to play this season because we think it\'s important for the game, because our fans and our players want us to, and it may give people -- particularly in isolation, or where there are curfews -- a sense of normalcy and something to do,\" Bettman told reporters in a video call on Monday. \"It would be cheaper for us to shut the doors and not play. We\'re going to lose more money, at the club level and the league level, by playing than by not playing.\"
Regarding the losses, Bettman said: \"The magnitude of the loss starts with a B. We\'re out of the M range and into the B.\"