Most people are pretty unhappy when they have to be awake at six in the morning, and usually I am right there with them. Today is different though, not because I woke up on the “right” side of the bed this morning, but because the NHLPA and NHL have reached a tentative agreement to end the NHL Lockout.
The news broke early this morning by the media in attendance including TSN analyst and former Bruin Aaron Ward, TSN’s Darren Dreger, and ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun. The story from TSN can be read here.
“We have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed to reporters early Sunday morning. “I want to thank Don Fehr. We still have more work to do, but it’s good to be at this point.”
While details are few at this time and are the typical “more to follow” variety; it is known that the new deal is 10 years in length. The tentative deal was finally reached after a marathon session of negotiations which eclipsed nearly 16 hours and led into the early morning of today.
It also appears as if the deal features a salary cap of $64.3 million in the second year which is a common ground for both parties as the owners wanted for the cap to be $60 million. It is this concession that is believed to hold major significance in reaching a deal between both parties.
According to ESPN and TSN analyst Pierre Lebrun, the NHL has both 50 game and 48 games schedules drawn up depending on how long it takes to ratify the new CBA. It is unknown at this time as to how long that process will take. What I can tell you is that the NHL Lockout is all but over. There are still some minor things to be done, but for all intents and purposes, we will be seeing hockey pretty soon.
More information will come out over time and we here at Boston Sports Then & Now will keep you all abreast of it as it is released. For now you can all sit back, relax, and think about your beloved black & gold taking the ice at the TD Garden sometime in the next couple of weeks.
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