January 6, 2013

Hockey's back! NHL, NHLPA reach deal on new CBA

By Jesse Connolly

On the 114th day of the NHL lockout, Gary Bettman finally said the words many of us thought we'd never hear: "Let there be hockey."

Alright, that's not a direct quote, but it pretty much sums up the commissioner's message.

After a 16-hour, round-the-clock negotiating session that kicked off on Saturday afternoon, the National Hockey League and the Players’ Association reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement, thus ending a prolonged, painful lockout that began Sept. 15 and wiped out three and a half months worth of NHL hockey.

"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,"  Bettman told reporters on hand in New York. "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."

Here are a few key elements of the new CBA, per TSN:

* The players’ share, as you know by now, will drop to 50 percent.

* The CBA is for 10 years.

* Each team will be allowed two amnesty buyouts.

* The cap will be $64.3 million in Year 2.

* Contracts cannot vary more than 35 percent from year to year, and the final cannot vary more than 50 percent of the highest year.

To read more on the nitty gritty details, click here.

According to TSN, a 50-game schedule would begin on Jan. 15, while a 48-game slate would commence Jan. 19.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.