Get the zambonis ready, the lockout appears to be over.
According to sources, a tentative agreement between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association has been reached at roughly 5 am (eastern time) Sunday following a marathon session.
“Don Fehr [executive director of the NHLPA] and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on a framework for a new collective bargaining agreement,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said outside a Mahattan hotel where the negotiations were held. “We still have more work to do, but it’s good to be at this point.”
A shortened season will likely be played starting in late January.
(Many are speculating that January 19 would be the return date, following an abbreviated training camp for teams. The Colorado Avalanche first game would be against the New York Rangers at home.)
The deal has to be finalized, the written language and legal bindings hashed out, between parties before it can truly become official.
The collective bargaining agreement, according to reports from CSN Sportsnet, will be for 10 years, with an opt-out clause at 8 years, and the initial salary-cap will sit at $64.3 million.
The lockout began at midnight on September 15th, meaning that it has lasted over one hundred day, or just under four months time. Talks were strenuous and, at times, hostile, but it seems that hockey is finally back.