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Habs owner Geoff Molson says he hopes for a quick end to NHL lockout

Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson in Brossard, Que., March 29, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson in Brossard, Que., March 29, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

ILE-BIZARD, Que. - Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson remains confident that the National Hockey League's labour woes can be settled quickly.

Speaking to reporters on the fourth day of the NHL lockout, Molson said he recognizes that a fourth labour stoppage in the past twenty years could damage the reputation of the league.

But Molson told reporters Wednesday at the Canadiens' annual golf tournament—not attended by any member of the current roster—that he has unwavering support in Gary Bettman and that the league's owners are firmly behind him.

NHL owners are subject to a US$1-million fine for speaking out of line about the lockout.

"For the league to be healthy, for the economic system to be good for all teams, there must be adjustments, as Gary mentioned," Molson told reporters at the Royal Montreal Golf Club. "The 30 owners are standing together and are united and they support Gary's approach."

Molson said he's received many messages from fans, all of whom wish to see the Canadiens return to the ice.

"It is our priority and we hope that an agreement will be concluded soon so that fans can enjoy our new team," Molson said.

Molson was asked about comments made by former Canadiens player Mathieu Darche. The member of the NHL Players' Association bargaining committee said Molson would be the least likely of all owners to want a lockout.

Molson simply replied that he hoped that he wasn't the only one in the entire province of Quebec who wishes there hockey.

While no current Habs were present, some of the Canadiens' retired players and legends participated in the charity golf tournament.

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