After a 16 hour long negotiation marathon both Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr appeared together early this morning to announce a deal has been reached. This is the best news I’ve have heard since it was announced that Jonathan Toews would be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Phoenix Coyotes series.
Bettman had stated that the NHL season would be cancelled if it wasn’t able to start by January 19th, which of course put the hot and very cold at times negotiations in the greatest possible sense of urgency it could be in to hash out a new deal. All deals finally get done when there is the last possible date available out there!
The best part of what was announced is that the new deals length will be 10 years, yes 10 years (just like the NFL) with a mutual opt out clause of 8 years!! Yes, the I’s are not dotted and the T’s are not crossed, but when they are we will not even have to think of the words negotiations, lock outs, strikes, and CBA until 2020 at the earliest with these to sides!! It’s about time that they put some length into these agreements. If a piece of article is written correctly the first time it last for centuries, you think the founders of our country really thought the Constitution would last over 225 years? Plus they spent less time arguing about that piece of history than the NHL and NHLPA did about their CBA!
According to all accounts that were written about the negotiation the major sticking point was the salary cap for next season. The league wanted 60 million and the NHLPA wanted 65 million. The easy part as pointed out by many on Twitter would have been to meet in the middle, but reportedly they met at 64.3 million.
If you would like to watch the entire interview from early this morning with Bettman and Fehr click here.
The words tentative are still out there because they still have to get the entire CBA on paper and have both the NHL Board of Governors and NHLPA ratify the new agreement. So as exciting as this news is that an agreement has been reached the pessimist (due to years of Chicago Cubs and Bears disappointments) in me cannot get too excited until the agreement is officially signed and the schedule is released and our Chicago Blackhawks are back on the ice at the United Center.
They have apparently saved the season when it was at the edge of the cliff! Finish the job so we can get back to seeing our favorite players from Hossa, Toews, Sharp, Duncan and Kane on the ice instead of Bettman and Fehr behind a mike!
Here again is the totality of what was lost due to the lockout-
1. All Games Scheduled through January 14(over 50 percent of the season)
2. The Winter Classic
3. The All-Star Weekend in Columbus
If the CBA is signed we will at worst case see the puck drop in 13 days with a 52 or 48 game season so with all that work left……..
SIGN THE NEW CBA!!
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