Game On: Tentative NHL Deal
After six long months of negotiations, it took one extremely long night to get the NHL out of the boardroom and back on
the ice. A tentative deal to end the 113-day NHL lockout was reached Sunday morning at the end of a marathon 16-hour negotiating session.
``We have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper,'' NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a news conference. ``We've got to dot a lot of i's and cross a lot of t's. There's still a lot of work to be done but the basic framework of the deal has been agreed upon.''
Before the new CBA officially comes into effect, it must be ratified by a majority of both the league's 30 owners and the
union's membership of approximately 740 players.
``Hopefully within a very few days the fans can get back to watching people who are skating, not the two of us,'' said Donald
Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players' Association.
Neither side has announced any details of the deal, which came together with the help of U.S. federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, but according to a source, it's a 10-year agreement with an opt-out option after eight years.
It also includes defined benefit pensions for the players as well as a $64.3-million salary cap in 2013-14.
Other highlights, according to a source, include a seven-year contract term limit for free agents and eight years for players
re-signing with the same team.
The deal also includes a 35 per cent yearly variance in salary and no more than 50 per cent difference
between any two seasons.
``Everyone is obviously relieved that it's over and done with, for all intents and purposes, and we're able to kind of move on to what we kind of enjoy doing a lot more than this,'' said Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who was involved in the negotiations.
It's not clear when the season will start or exactly how many games will be played, though Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey, also a key figure in the negotiations, said he expects it to be 48 or 50 games.
The league was on the verge of cancelling a second season due to a work stoppage. Bettman had set a deadline of Jan. 11 to get a deal done to save the season.
NOTE: CJAD 800 will have a special 3-hour broadcast on the end of the lockout - beginning Sunday, at 12PM.