NEW YORK—As labor talks between team owners and the NHL Players’ Association enter their fifth straight week, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced Monday that he has been “blown away” by the ongoing lockout’s immense popularity. “There’s just a buzz about hockey right now that I don’t think we’ve ever seen before,” said Bettman, adding that the outpouring of support he has received for the continuing lack of NHL games has been “incredibly touching.” “We get calls every single day from people who are begging us to keep this thing going. People just can’t wait to see more regular season hockey games canceled. Frankly, this is the best thing that has ever happened to the NHL in terms of growing its appeal among sports fans.” Bettman confirmed that he hasn’t seen so much public enthusiasm about the sport since 2004, when a labor dispute forced the NHL to cancel the entire season.