After 113 days and 510 missed games, the NHL lockout is finally over. An agreement between players and their owners was reached early Sunday morning.
ESPN.com’s NHL columnist Pierre LeBrun broke down this collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, between the NHL and NHL Players Association as a ten-year term with an opt-out at eight years. It also includes a salary cap for this season at $70.2 million. This will decrease in the 2013- 2014 season when the cap is set to drop to $64.3 million. The salary floor for both seasons is $44 million.
Some credit Scot L. Beckenbaugh for saving the lockout from total destruction. When no progress was being made, he talked to each association separately and discovered what each side wanted and helped with negotiations, according to ESPN. This brought both associations back face-to-face to come up with the agreement.
A time for ratification for the CBA still is uncertain but it must be done before the 2013 game schedule is released. Depending on when the agreement is signed, the NHL is looking at either a 50-game season starting Jan. 15 or a 48-game season starting Jan. 19.
Because this argument lasted so long, the hockey season is expected to end with the Stanley Cup playoffs at the end of June.
Looming questions still remain, such as will the previously loyal hockey fans be willing to come back? Also, will the players enjoy the shortened season?
But these questions will remain unanswered until the agreement is fully passed, and the first puck is dropped.