It looks like the long, destructive NHL lockout is finally coming to an end. According to ESPN on Jan. 6, the players' association and NHL have reached a tentative agreement to finally bring hockey back to its fans.
With the new 10-year deal in place, it looks like the NHL could return in two weeks for what will amount to be a 48- or 50-game schedule. The question now is whether or not the fans will welcome the game back after the long lockout that showed greed from both sides.
There is still work to do on the fine print of the new deal, and both sides know that many fans will remain unforgiving. Sure, true hockey fans will watch the games, but how much money is the fan base willing to spend after the two sides destroyed half of the 2012-13 season with this lockout? The NHL has a long road ahead of them when it comes to winning their fans back over.
The salary cap in the first season will be $60 million with a floor of $44 million. Teams will be given leniency in this first year up to $70.2 million. The next year, the cap will raise to $64 million, with the floor remaining the same. There will also be rules in place to stop back loading of contracts and revenue sharing will spread around $200 million.
The players still have to vote, but this basically marks the end of the NHL lockout. Now it's time to see how the fans react to the retuning league.