UPDATE: January 6, 2013 8:52 a.m.
The NHL lockout appears to be over as the NHLPA and NHL have reached a tentative deal on a new CBA.
Here are some of the reported facts of a potential new CBA courtesy of NBC's Pro Hockey Talk.
The 2012-13 season will be a transition year — the upper level is set at $60 million with teams allowed to spend up to $70.2 million. In year two, the cap will move to $64.3 million (the NHL met the NHLPA’s request on that figure, as the league wanted it at $60 million.)
Should be noted the salary floor for both 2012-13 and 2013-14 is $44 million.
Term limit is set at seven years, eight if a player is resigning with his own team. Maximum salary variance is 35 percent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent from the highest year.
Click the link for the full details.
END OF UPDATE
UPDATE: January 5, 2013 9:32 p.m.
Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe just provided this update courtesy of a veteran agent monitoring the lockout talks.
Vet agent: deal as good as done, league now taking it to final hour, grabbing what's left to take off table.— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) January 6, 2013
More progress has been made in CBA negotiations, and Tim Panaccio of CSN has the latest on CBA talks.
Sources on both sides see Monday as likely date when all is settled. But could be late Sunday, as well— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) January 6, 2013
The NHL lockout talks reached a critical level when word came out that a deal could be reached in the next 24 hours, or talks could completely fall apart with the disbanding of the NHLPA.
Helene St James also added this update on the progress of the meetings.
Pensions agreed upon. Sorting out '13-14 cap and variance over length of player contracts. But talks are really progressing. #NHLlockout— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 5, 2013
The news courtesy of Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos really jump started optimism surrounding the talks, but the tweets from fellow Sportsnet colleague John Shannon were what indicated that progress is really being made.
Told the pension issue was resolved a while ago. For all you Actuaries....it will be a Defined Benefits pension, funded by the players.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) January 5, 2013
Told that while major pension issue is resolved still some point to be worked out to make system work.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) January 5, 2013
The pesky pension issue, according to Shannon, has been solved, so that means the salary cap domino is the last to fall. If both sides can agree on a salary cap number, a deal could be made in the next 24 hours, as stated by Kypreos.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the NHL is willing to move off its previous stance of having a $60M cap for 2013-14.
Told that league has indicated willingness to come off $60 for next year, maybe $63-64, but in return for what, I don't know...— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) January 5, 2013
If both sides are at the stage where agreeing on a salary cap could be the coup de gra to this lockout, fans have a big reason to be optimistic.
This news can be considered even more encouraging because of The Fourth Period report that indicates many issues have been agreed on by both parties.
According to sources, the NHLPA has accepted the NHL's 10-year CBA term, though it has certain stipulations it has included as part of their acceptance, which the NHL has not yet agreed to.
One source told TFP the Players have also agreed on the NHL's proposed six-year free agent contract term limit (seven-years for those re-signing with their own teams), but have countered their 10 per cent variance.
Right now it appears that the salary cap will be the final issue to solve, but it could come at a price, as Brooks alluded to.
This progress could be all undone if the NHLPA goes ahead with filing a disclaimer of interest later this evening.
The results will be announced at 6:00 p.m. EST, but with all this progress being made, is the NHLPA considering using the disclaimer of interest tactic?
Eric Macramalla, a TSN legal analyst, posted a great piece on this very subject, and it is worth a read, as it discuses the implications a D.O.I. could have on the current talks.
This brings us back to today. Will the NHLPA disclaim? A lot will depend on proximity to a deal. It won't be enough that the sides are kinda or sorta close to a deal. The sides will need to be real close to a deal to avoid the NHLPA dissolving. If Fehr concludes that they are not sufficiently close to brokering a deal, expect him to pull the trigger on dissolving the NHLPA. It may be encouraging that the sides spent 12 hours in mediation yesterday. However, until everything is agreed upon, nothing is agreed upon.
So unless there is a clear path to settlement, expect to see a disclaimer. It could happen immediately at 6:01pm on Saturday or later on.
The only thing that is certain at this point is that federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh should be commended for his round-the-clock mediation sessions.
His intense negotiations with both parties led to talks, and if his efforts lead to a new CBA agreement, the fans will be indebted to him for saving the season.
More updates are constantly emerging on Twitter, so stay tuned for the latest updates available.