After nearly 120 days (113 to be exact) of the lockout the NHL and NHLPA have reached a tentative agreement to salvage what’s left of the 2013 hockey season. Nothing is official just yet but all the experts have reason to believe the latest deal that was proposed to the players by the owners will be accepted as of this coming Wednesday. Depending on when they decide the season will start it will be either a 50 or 48 game regular season and because of the late start, that means that the Stanley Cup Playoffs will last until the end of June.
The deal is still considered tentative at this point because the board of governors still has to give the approval, they are scheduled to meet with all 30 owners on Wednesday. According to Scott Burnside of espn.com, this is the language of the proposed CBA.
“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). 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. Revenue sharing will spread $200 million, with a $60 million NHLPA-initiated growth fund included.”
As all of you know I have a passion for this sport like no other and although I am still very sour about the strike in the first place and do not approve of Gary Bettman being the NHL Commissioner, I am ecstatic that I can begin watching games again when football is over. I know for a fact the die-hard fans like myself will be back on Day 1, however I firmly believe that the rest of the sports’ fans will not come back for quite some time and after a major market team like the Los Angeles Kings won the Cup last season, I personally felt like this year’s work stoppage could not have come at a worse time for the game.
In the end I am relieved there will be a season and just hope other hockey fans can forgive the league for what it did to its fans over the last 113 days. At least we’ve had high school hockey in Lorain County to help us get our hockey fix. Just a reminder, we’ve got games on Wednesday (Elyria Catholic vs. Westlake) and Sunday (Avon vs. Midview) click here for details.