The NHL Is Back And Most Likely Playing A 48-Game Regular Season

The LA Kings clinch the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL lockout is over! The NHL is leaving the boardrooms and headed back to the ice! They’re back! Took 100+ days but whose counting? The lockout never should’ve happened but who cares?

The day we’ve all been waiting for, praying for, hoping for, wishing on Christmas for and trying to sell a kidney for has finally come! Early Sunday morning the NHL and NHLPA reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement to end the ridiculous and completely unnecessary NHL lockout. Hallelujah, praise Jesus, praise Allah, praise whoever it is you pray to and atheists, well thanks for keeping your fingers crossed and hoping!

The proposed deal which still needs to be formally written up and agreed upon by both sides ends the NHL’s 3rd lockout in 19 years and it is a 10-year agreement with an opt-out option available after the 8th year. So, we should be able to go 5-6 years without a lockout, this is the NHL we’re talking about though so don’t jinx it.

From NHL.com,

“According to multiple reports, the deal spans 10 years with an out option for either side after eight years. It also reportedly features a seven-year limit on new player contracts (extended to eight for players re-signing with their own team). Additionally, these reports say the sides agreed on a salary cap of $64.3 for the 2013-14 season with the floor resting at $44 million. For this season, the cap will reportedly be at $70.2 million. To be able to meet the reduced cap number in 2013-14, each team will be allowed the option of two compliance buyouts before the start of that season, again according to reports. The buyout money reportedly does not count against the salary cap of the team buying out the player, rather it is counted against the players’ share of hockey-related revenue.”

The NHL sent out a memo on Monday to all the teams telling them to be ready for a January 19th start and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly sent an email to the Associated Press stating the same and that they are planning a 48-game schedule. Daly went on to say that the season could start sooner and be a little longer if “the players can expedite their ratification process.”

Its funny how the NHL is saying the season could start sooner if the players hurry up, isn’t it the NHL that locked out the players initially after the NHLPA said they would play the 2012-13 season under the old CBA until a new one was drafted? Now, the NHLPA has to find players that are scattered around the world, get them to understand the new CBA and then agree to it. Seems like that is an easy enough process and if they can do it quickly the NHL is kind enough to make the season longer so the owners/league can collect more ad revenue. It’s also a process that could’ve been avoided had this unnecessary lockout never happened, see where this is going?

At this point I don’t really care, hockey is back. For those who say they won’t support the NHL or spend any money on it, I wish them well. I’m most certainly not one of those people. Call me a sell out, say I have no pride or whatever I don’t care. I can now get back to covering NHL hockey as opposed to continually writing about Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr. If I never have to type those two names again in an article I’ll be happier than I am today, which if you can’t tell is pretty freaking happy. I can also get back to watching the Boston Bruins instead of the Boston College Eagles and while I do love college hockey, it’s not the NHL, fact not opinion.

The NHL is back! Just keep telling yourself that and soon enough (about 2 weeks to be exact), it will be back on your TV and back in rinks across North America.

The NHL is back! How do you feel about it?

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Topics: NHL, NHL Lockout, NHL Regular Season, NHLPA

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