SBD/Weekend Rap

NHL, Union Reach Early Morning Deal After 113-Day Lockout

The NHL lockout ended today at 5:00am ET after 16 hours of negotiations. A tired but relieved NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Don Fehr held a joint press conference to announce the  tentative CBA deal. The season will open by Jan. 19. Training camps, which will last approximately one week, are expected to open on Wednesday after the league’s BOG and players ratify the agreement on Tuesday. The new deal is for ten years, with an opt-out clause for both sides after the eighth year. The players for the duration of the CBA will receive approximately 50% of league revenues, down from 57%. The salary cap for the '13-14 season will be $64.3M, a decrease from the current $70.3M. Teams will have the opportunity to buy out the contracts of two players. For the first time in league history, there will be term limits on contracts. The longest a team can sign a player for is seven years -- eight if it is re-signing one of its own players (Christopher Botta, SportsBusiness Journal).
Bettman and Fehr did not take questions, but were asked "what the league would do to ease the anger of the fans." Bettman responded, "We’ll be talking to the fans, most importantly, but at this point in time we still have some work to do." Fehr: "Hopefully, within a very few days the fans can get back to watching people who are skating not the two of us" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 1/6). After the deal was announced, watching the two sides "mingle and chat with reporters, you could feel the relief radiating off them" (ESPN.com, 1/6).

Coyotes RW Shane Doan said, "I think as a union we got the best deal we could possibly get and you're happy" (NORTHJERSEY.com, 1/6). Doan: "It was concessionary bargaining right from the beginning. As much as you didn’t want to, we understand that the nature of professional sports has kind of changed with the last couple CBAs starting with football and basketball and obviously hockey" (Mult., 1/6). Jets D Ron Hainsey said, "Both sides moved. (It's a) deal both sides can live with. It was a battle. Gary said a month ago it was a tough negotiation. That's what it was" (STLTODAY.com, 1/6). Hainsey added, "I don't think there's any doubt that the pension is the centrepiece of this deal for the players" (Mult., 1/6).
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