Talks between the NHL's league office and the players' association have reached a positive conclusion after the sides reportedly agreed to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, according to TSN.
After 113 days of the lockout that included a marathon 16-hour negotiation session on Saturday, a tentative deal on a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement has been reached between the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association.
'Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper,' NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed to reporters early Sunday morning.
'We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon. We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the league side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well.'
TSN then shares some of the more crucial details of the new reported CBA:
According to TSN Hockey Analyst Aaron Ward and TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, the agreement features the following elements:
- The players' share of hockey-related revenue will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split for all 10 years.
- The league coming off their demand for a $60 million cap in Year 2, meeting the NHLPA's request to have it at $64.3 million - which was the upper limit from last year's cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.
- The upper limit on the salary cap in the first year is $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million. The cap floor will be $44 million.
- The 10-year deal also has an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight years.
This is a major relief for all sides involved. As Shawn P. Roarke notes on NHL.com, "The League did not announce the start date of the season or the number of games each team will play. Those details will be announced soon." But the reported agreement on the framework of the deal ensures that hockey will be played this year, and that is all we can ask for at this point.
It also closes another chapter in professional sports. The NBA and NFL have both dealt with similar issues recently, and the NHL's last problem wasn't too long ago either.
Because the NBA and NFL were able to put their concerns aside eventually, it was imperative for the NHL and its players to reach an agreement in order to stay relevant on the sports landscape. Considering neither the NFL nor NBA received a dip in popularity following their tumultuous lockouts, this is a good sign for the NHL.
Breathe easy, hockey fans—the NHL season is soon on its way along with all the bright, young stars that come with it.
Stay tuned for more details regarding the specifics of the NHL's new CBA.