Multiple sources, including Katie Strang of ESPN New York and Sean Gentille of the Sporting News have proclaimed that the NHL lock out has ended. Gary Bettman told reporters around 5:45 a.m. that "we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement."
On the 113th day of the work stoppage, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post got the scoop that all reporters, and through them, hockey fans, had been hoping for. The tweet was simple: "Deal is done!" Posted at 2:05 a.m. The message, however, is one that hockey fans have been longing to hear since this mess began.
We'll have plenty of time, as fans and as onlookers, to determine what kind of monetary damage the lockout has caused. We'll be able to look at half-full arenas around the NHL and know why those seats are empty.
But for now, we finally get to stop talking about the business of the game and get back to playing the game. After 16 hours of talks on Saturday that more resembled a marathon video game session than business as usual for the suits and ties in New York, the breakthrough was made. Thanks in no small part to federal mediation.
The hope is for a 50-game season that will start within the next 10 days. Both the owners and players need to ratify the new, tentative CBA before we can get down to seeing schedules and whatnot.
Strang reported that sources confirmed that the deal is for 10 years, with a mutual opt-out after the eighth year. Player contract terms are locked in at seven years, and eight years if a team is re-signing its own player. The biggest hangup in getting the deal done this week seemed to have been the salary cap during the second year of the CBA.
The cap will reportedly be set at $64.3 million in 2013-14.
So...who's ready for some hockey?
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