I hope that you guys are ready to start trekking to Scottrade Center again soon. After a marathon 14 hours of talks, the NHL and the NHLPA finally found the common ground that they'd been so close to for so long. Early Sunday morning the two sides have basically agreed to the framework of a new CBA. The formality of approving it comes next, and then we get the corralling of overseas players and the beginning of the NHL camps, which could come later this week.
The number of games played and the official starting date hasn't been determined as of yet, and keep in mind that the signing of the new CBA hasn't occurred. There's still a small chance something will hit a snag, but after as many months of false hop that everyone's been given, you have to think that finally it won't be snatched away.
Here're some specifics from the agreement, culled by SBN's Matt Brigidi:
* The length of the new CBA will be for 10 years with a mutual opt-out after eight years
* Revenue sharing at $200 million with a $60 million growth fund.
* Free agents can sign maximum contracts of eight-years with the team they had their previous contract with; seven-years with a new team.
* The maximum variance between annual salary on any contract is set at 35 percent.
* The salary cap in year two of the deal will be $64.3 million. * Each team will be permitted two compliance buyouts prior to the 2013-14 season that will not count against the salary cap and will come out of the players share of hockey related revenue.
* All 14 teams who do not qualify for the postseason will be eligible for the first overall pick in the NHL Draft as part of the draft lottery system.
* Player participation in the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi will be determined independently of the CBA.
A lot of those details seem like things that really should have been resolved a long time ago, but I think we all realize how hard headed the folks in charge on both sides have been. I have to get ready to return to ATL, but there will be more stuff later on this evening on the end of the lockout. Hopefully we'll be able to start celebrating a Blues opening night win in a week or so.