BREAKING: THE NHL LOCKOUT IS TENTATIVELY OVER!
At about 5:00 AM on this Sunday morning a tentative agreement was reached between the NHL and NHLPA on a new CBA to end the 2012-2013 lockout and end 16 hours of negotiations. The news broke when Adrian Datar of the Denver Post tweeted “Deal is done! firstname.lastname@example.org”. After that, many media outlets would go on to report that an agreement was reached, confirming Datar’s report. Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, and Bob McKenzie of TSN would quickly follow-up with details on the new CBA.
The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is for 10 years with an opt out after eight years. The 2013-2014 salary cap will be $64.3 million and the floor will be $44 million. There will be max contracts at seven years and eight years for teams own players.
At 5:45 AM a press conference was held between NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. Bettman would go on to confirm everything by saying “Framework of a deal has been agreed upon”. He would also go on to say “I want to thank Don Fehr. We went through a tough period, but its good to be at this point”. Ron Hainsey, a Winnipeg Jets defensive player was also present at the press conference and said the NHL will hold a 48 to 50 game season, but that a start date was not set. Hainsey would also add that the pension language was “not final” and that pension is the centerpiece of the deal for the players. Phoenix Coyotes right-wing, Shane Doan, who also appeared at the press conference had this to say, “Everyone’s obviously relieved that it’s over and done with” and that he thought this was the best available deal. Doan also said he’d heard suggestions of locking everyone in a room, “The mediator kind of did that”. A statement from the federal mediation service on the mediator Scot Beckenbaugh said “herculean assistance of the highest caliber”.
The new CBA needs signatures of course and needs to be ratified. Some work is still to be done but there is a verbal agreement on the major points. The last thing we need now is for this new CBA not to be ratified and all hope is lost again. Lets not think about that though and just be glad that both sides have an agreement on a new deal to bring hockey back.