By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Hockey Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL is set to stage its first normal postseason since 2019 with full buildings expected for every team. The return of fans and the traditional 16-team tournament is what Commissioner Gary Bettman calls the ultimate return to normalcy. Sellout crowds for the playoffs after the longest regular season in hockey history and new U.S. media rights deals allowed the NHL to reach pre-pandemic business numbers. Even a short period of empty arena games across Canada in the middle of the season did not prevent the league from reaching a projected $5 billion in revenue. Now it’s about the competition for the Stanley Cup.