Published on January 6th, 2013 | by James Conley1
The NHL Lockout is Over
The NHL Lockout ended early Sunday morning after a 16-hour bargaining session between the NHL and NHLPA.
The season will be 48 or 52 games, or 50. Schedules still haven’t been set but games should begin within a week or ten days. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr were able to reach the framework of an agreement after an All-Star performance by federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, who kept the process moving and helped the sides to reach a deal a few days in advance of Bettman’s stated January 11 drop-dead date.
Some of the main issues addressed in the deal, from ESPN.
10-Year Agreement. The new deal is three years longer than the last. Either side may opt out after 8 years.
Contract Term Limits. Player contracts cannot exceed seven years for free agents, eight for a team’s own player.
Frontloaded Contracts. A new salary variance means the most expensive year of a contract cannot double the least expensive season.
Year 2 Cap. Set at $64.3 million, after league insisted on drop from $70.2 million to $60 million in year two. Eases into 50-50 split.
Buyouts. Clubs will have two player buyouts to use in the 2013 offseason to help comply with lowered cap.
Still plenty to figure out, but at least now things are moving. Training camps will open yesterday, first puck drop should be in a week or so.
Watch every game. We will too. But if you’re going to invest in the hockey economy, buy yourself a meal or beer at the bars outside CONSOL and hold off on that new NHL merch for as long as you can. Just don’t feed the mouth that bit us all for the last four months.
Gonna be salty about this one for awhile, but it’s good to be back nonetheless.
Time to shake off the rust.