After 113 days, the National Hockey League lockout has come to an end as both sides have come to a tentative agreement after a 16 hour negotiation session with a federal mediator that started Saturday (Jan. 5) afternoon.
NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman would not elaborate on the details of the agreement, but we do know the term of the deal is 10 years with a out option after eight years. I’m very happy to hear this because it means there will be no possible work stoppages until the year 2020. Reports also say that both sides agreed to a salary cap of $64.3 million for 2013-14 with floor resting at $44 million. This season the cap will be at $70.2 million.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement still needs to be ratified (to be voted on) by the both the owners and players to make it official. The ratification process will begin later this week. It is still unclear on how long the shorten season will be. If the league decides to have 50 game schedule, the season will start on Jan. 15. If they decide on a 48 game schedule, the season will begin on Jan. 19. Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly said today that a 48 game schedule is most likely.
Like many hockey fans in Canada, I’m very pleased to hear the lockout is over, but I’m cautiously optimistic. In fact, I won’t get too exited until the ratification process is complete. They say it’s a formality, but anything can happen.
Again, all we can do is wait. Bettman is set to meet with the board of governors tomorrow to discuss the ratification process. One reporter in Toronto said yesterday that the board of governors will most likely have some questions for Bettman about this tentative agreement.
It’s unclear on who really will benefit with this agreement. Many sports reporters are saying the players are the big losers when it comes to this deal and others are saying neither side won.
Whatever the case, it’s Game On! for now.