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NHL commissioner plans to take in Bruins banner raising, Jets first game

Gary Bettman will help the Boston Bruins toast their Stanley Cup victory before joining the celebration that accompanies the return of the Winnipeg Jets.

With the opening of the NHL regular season just a week away, the commissioner is busy making travel plans.

"I'm going to be at the banner raising in Boston on (Oct. 6), I'm going to be in Winnipeg on (Oct. 9) and I hope to get out as quickly as possible to as many arenas as possible," Bettman said Wednesday in an interview.

The Bruins will raise their championship banner to the rafters at TD Garden before opening their title defence against Philadelphia in one of three games scheduled for the opening night of the season.

Winnipeg officially marks its return to the NHL after 15 years with an afternoon game against Montreal on Oct. 9.

Bettman was in the Manitoba capital in May when thousands took to the streets in celebration after it was announced True North Sports&Entertainment had purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and relocated the team. He's looking forward to being part of the sellout crowd at MTS Centre for the highly anticipated opener.

"Absolutely, I was excited to be there for the announcement (too)," he said. "It's what we had anticipated when we decided to return the Jets to Winnipeg."

Like many hockey fans, the commissioner is anxious for another season to get underway.

"I miss the game during the summer," said Bettman. "I'm glad we're back."


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