The NHL is Back!
The NHL and the NHLPA (players association) have officially ratified the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) ending the 113 day lockout! The owners voted to pass the agreement 30 for yes to 0 for no, while the players voted 667 for yes to 12 for no. Now a 'Memorandum of Understanding' will be completed and the NHL will have a new CBA.
After a long hard fight between both sides, Gary Bettman (NHL commissioner) and Donald Fehr (head of the NHLPA) tentatively reached an agreement last Sunday morning, January 6th.
Highlights of the New 10 Year CBA:
- The Hockey Related Revenue (HRR), which was estimated at $3.3 Billion was split 50/50 starting this season (players got 57% in the last CBA)
- The Salary Cap, which was tentatively set at $70 million during the off-season, was dropped to $64.3 million in Year 2 of the CBA.
- Players Contract lengths, which previously had no limit, are now limited to 7 years (8 if you are resigning your own player).
- Contracts can't dip more than 35% year to year, preventing General Managers from circumventing the cap.
- The players got a pension play, which has not been made public.
- The NHL gave the NHLPA $300 million for the 'Make Whole' provision (which is a way of the NHL reimbursing the players for the money they will lose (7% of $3.3 billion) in the first few years due to the 50/50 split).
- Each NHL team gets 2 amnesty buy-outs (to help due to the lower cap) which they can use starting at the end of this season. They have until 2014 to take advantage of the buy-outs.
What does this all mean?
The NHL is BACK! Training camps for most teams will start on Sunday, January 13th and the season will commence Saturday, January 19th. The season will include 48 games: all of which will be against conference teams. The trade deadline is speculated to be on April 3rd, while the end of the regular season would be around April 27th. The playoffs will begin April 27th and could go as late at June 28th.
Drop the Puck:
- The NHL will release all the schedules at some point tomorrow.
- It will show that the Flyers will open the season Saturday, January 19th on NBC at home against their cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins at 3PM.
- The Flyers will then travel to Buffalo to play the very next morning, Sunday, January 20th at 12:30, also on NBC.
- The full schedule will be posted soon.