HOCKEY IS BACK, BABY.
After months of frustrating negotiations, discussions that failed to happen more often than not, this long and grueling NHL lockout is finally over after 113 days. The NHL and NHLPA participated in a marathon, 13-hour negotiating session to iron out the deal.
Following a disagreement regarding player pensions and penalties for hiding HRR on Wednesday, federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh spent 12 hours on Friday and most of Saturday morning trekking the few blocks between the NHL offices and the NHLPA hotel. The federal mediator was able to calm the fires between the the two and find enough traction that he felt a face to face meeting was once again useful.
By all accounts, Beckenbaugh should be considered the hero of this whole mess.
The final key issues that needed be resolved have now been tentatively agreed upon. Here are a few details appearing on twitter:
10-year deal with eight mutual opt-out, $64.3 M 2013-14 cap, 7-year max contracts (8 for own players); believe 2 compliance buyouts— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) January 6, 2013
We'll have a full breakdown of the new CBA, the season ahead for the Dallas Stars and everything else that needs to be discussed before the first game of the season.
Hockey is back. It's going to be a very long time before it ever feels the same and after such a long and needless lockout, it's tough to really and truly celebrate. All we can be thankful for is that we'll see the Dallas Stars on the ice this season.
Most importantly, well get to see this guy:
Play with this guy: