After months and months of negotiations–the NHL Lockout has officially come to an end and hockey fans will finally get the regular season they’ve been anxiously waiting for in less than two weeks.
The two sides are expected to meet on Wednesday since the deal is just a tentative agreement, but the important factor is a season is going to happen and fans no longer have to worry about missing out on an entire season. For months, both Gary Bettman and the NHL Players’ Association made it seem like a deal was close to happening–only to lead fans on and leave them with nothing but frustration that a season would never happen.
The tentative agreement is a 10-year deal with the option for a mutual opt-out clause after eight years with a $60 million salary cap for the first season. It may be shorter than players and fans would have liked it to be, but the important factor is the fans will finally be getting what they want–which is a regular season in 2013.
Depending on what type of schedule they agree on, hockey can begin as early as January 15 or January 19–giving fans a regular season consisting of anywhere from 48-50 games. Obviously, players and fans would want as many games as possible, but since the new year has already started–it’s difficult to squeeze anymore games beyond 48-50.
Still, fans should just be satisfied with the fact that a season is happening after all considering how close it seemed to being canceled just a few weeks ago.