UPDATE: NHL and players' union reach tentative deal
After six long months of negotiations, it took one
extremely long night to get the NHL out of the boardroom and back on
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 but according
to a source, it's a 10-year agreement with an opt-out option after
It also includes defined benefit pensions for the players as well
as a $64.3-million salary cap in 2013-14, an issue that had been a
stumbling block in the negotiations.
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.
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.
It's not clear when the season will start or how many games will
(The Canadian Press)