The NHL Lockout Is Tentatively Over!
The NHL and NHLPA finally FINALLY have a tentative deal in place that should end the almost-four-month lockout that has deprived hockey fans of anything to do this fall.
Don't get too excited just yet, though; the deal must still reach majority approval from the board of governors and NHLPA membership before it can become official. This can happen as early as this Tuesday, though, so feel free to get at least a little excited.
Here are all the fun details that the two sides finally came to a compromise over, via ESPN:
The tentative agreement is a 10-year deal with a mutual opt-out clause after eight years and includes contract term limits at seven years (eight years for a team to re-sign its own players), a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
For the first year, the salary cap is $60 million but teams can spend up to $70.2 million in the transition period, while the floor is $44 million.
Sources said the 2013-14 salary cap, a very divisive issue, will be $64.3 million, while the floor will remain at $44 million.
Contract salary variance is capped at 35 percent from year to year, with the provision that the last year can't vary more than 50 percent from the highest-salaried year, a source told ESPN.com.
Revenue sharing will spread $200 million, with a $60 million NHLPA-initiated growth fund included.
The NHL had hoped to change the opening of free agency to July 10, but the players stood firm and it will remain July 1, although it will start later this year due to the delayed season.
Olympic participation will not be part of this agreement; the two parties will work on a side agreement regarding the Olympics and possibly the World Cup of Hockey.
Should the deal be finalized, the NHL will likely play a 48-game season similar to the one that took place after the 1994-95 lockout that lasted 104 days.
There is much speculation as to what the turning point of the negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA was since both sides have been steadfast in getting what is right for them, but considering this major turning point took place just two days ago, I think it's safe to assume who is responsible for making at least part of this NHL season possible.
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