Last week, a tentative agreement was reached between Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr in order to save the season, and have a 48 game schedule for each team. Was it really only a week? It felt more like a month to me. Especially this past Saturday, when we all expected the CBA to be ratified in the morning, and schedules to be released shortly after.
Well, we were half right, at least. The players' vote ended at 8 AM on Saturday morning, and the CBA received enough votes o pass with ease. However,there was still another step in the process before the NHL season could officially be approved -- a Memo of Understanding (MOU) had to be approved.
My initial thought (and others, I'm sure), was that the MOU was not going to be a big deal. I had assumed that it would be a general agreement that both parties would quickly sign, and then we could move on to official training camps instead of player skates. But I was wrong:
However, it took hours after the players' vote for the two sides to complete a written memorandum of understanding consistent with what the players voted on that had to be completed before the CBA became final. That was finalized late Saturday night.
Camps and other business could not begin until the deal was completed.
The 36-hour electronic voting process for the players ended Saturday morning, reportedly with 98.2 per cent saying yes to the deal and only 12 voting against it.
Apparently, the MOU was a more complex agreement than I thought it would be. It took another 10 or so hours more than I expected, but at least it is finally done. (Side note: I wonder who those 12 players were that voted 'No' on the CBA?) Now, with the schedules released, the NHL can finally get back to business.
Coming up in the links: Training camp for the Dallas Stars, schedule notes from around the league, and why hockey matters.
- Jaromir Jagr was on the ice yesterday, and had a chance to talk to the media after the skate. Our very own Brandon Worley's hand is in the bottom left of the video too. [DallasStars.com]
- The Dallas Stars also released their training schedule for the next 6 days. As always, all non-playoff skates are open to the public, so please stop by the Dr. Pepper Stars Center in Frisco, and cheer on the players. [Dallas News]
- With 10 of the first 15 games on the road, Mark Stepneski talks about the importance of a good start to the season. Doubly so, with it only being 48 games long. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Also in Stars news, Razor blogs about web traffic, and what kept the Dallas Stars website so popular during the lockout. Also hinted: They will be doing some kind of prize giveaway soon, so keep checking back in. [Razor With An Edge]
- With the full NHL schedule being released, there are some dates that hockey fans will need to keep in mind. Not just marquee match ups, but the trade deadline and free agency day too. Sean Leahy lines out everything you need to know for this year. [Puck Daddy]
- If you want to take a look at the summary of the CBA, here it is in a nice little PDF for your own perusal. If only re entry waivers could have been eliminated before the whole he-who-shall-not-be-named mess. Of course, then we would have been in even more cap floor issues last year, so I suppose it all balanced out in the end. [Pro Hockey Talk]
- If you follow the Northwest Division at all, here's a preview for each team. I may not follow this one as closely as the Pacific and Central, but with the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers always being a mess, and the Minnesota Wild having 2 of the most outrageous contracts in the NHL, I'll certainly be keeping my eye on it. [Sports Illustrated]
- This piece is a little longer, but it is well worth the read. Katie Baker give us a bit of insight on what it's like to live a hockey life over in Russia. [Grantland]
- Finally, the NHL has a video out explaining just what makes hockey so important. Being the cynic that I am, I have to remind myself that not everyone employed by the NHL was the cause of the lockout. There are plenty of people who work for them (like the media team that made this video), that were just as distraught about the lockout as we were. This clip really strikes true.