After five months of posturing, petulance and fan frustration, NHL hockey is finally back. Let us know how you feel.
Wake up Winnipeg Jets' fans! In case you weren't one of the few burning your midnight oils while rapidly refreshing Twitter (don't worry, I valued my sleep too), then you missed the NHL and NHLPA reaching a tentative agreement on a new CBA.
Although the new contract still requires ratification, it's believed that the final pen strokes will be completed within the next two weeks as both sides work furiously to complete all the necessary documentation before the agreement is made official.
Thanks to our friends at Blueshirt Banter, we are able to provide you with a breakdown of the agreed upon principles:
- 10-year CBA length, with a mutual opt from both sides after eight years.
- Seven year contract limits for free agent signings, and eight years for re-signing with current team.
- Year to year variance for contracts was settled at 35%.
- Cap ceiling for the 2013-2014 season will be set at $64.3 million, and a cap floor of $44 million.
- Revenue sharing will spread $200 million, in addition to a $60 million PA initiated growth fund.
- Teams will be allocated two compliance buyouts which must be used before the start of the 2013-2014 NHL season. This will count against the NHL's share of the pie.
- The draft lottery will now make all non-playoff teams fully eligible for the first overall draft pick.
- There is no set time table for the start of the NHL regular season, but there are reports saying it could come as early as January 15th. Training camp is expected to officially open sometime near the end of the next week/beginning of the weekend.
- The pension deal which is still not completed, is set to revolve around the same structure as the MLB currently has with its union.
- The tentative deal was officially reached around 5:00 AM, with a short, joint, press conference from both Gary Bettman, and Donald Fehr.
So there you have it, Jets' fans. NHL hockey is finally back. As for your loveable Arctic Ice Hockey gang, we have tons of post lockout coverage ready for you and will start releasing it as soon as tomorrow.
As a fan, we want to know how you're feeling today. Happy? Still frustrated? Apathetic? Hit us up in the comments section below!