Agreement reached; Lockout on verge of end; Christmas saved

Updated: January 6, 2013 at 9:41 am by Cam Charron

After 16 hours of bargaining and mediation Saturday and early into Sunday morning, the National Hockey League and its Players Association came through with a tentative labour agreement that will see the remainder of the 2012-2013 season played out under a pro-rated salary cap.

A groggy Gary Bettman, who was speaking about as quickly as either Sedin accelerates (they’re slow, get it?), clarified that the deal must be ratified on both sides, and that there was no information available yet on schedule or number of games to be played.

For a quick take, however, the CBA deal shouldn’t have too much trouble gaining support on both sides. Players probably would have ratified any NHL proposal offered in December.

Here are some highlights, per the Canadian Press:

  • Players receive a defined benefit pension plan, which I’m to understand is a big win for them.
  • Hockey-related revenue to be split 50-50 each season, with $300-million in deferred “make whole payments” which I’ll need someone who speaks legalese to define for me once the CBA is published online somewhere

For the stuff the fans care about, for those of us refreshing our teams’ Capgeek (or NHLNumbers) pages:

  • A salary cap of $64.3M in 2013-14, with a $44M salary floor
  • A seven-year limit on free-agent contracts, capped at eight when re-signing a player
  • Maximum salary variance of 35% year-to-year, and no more than 50% over any two years of the deal (goodbye back-diving deals. Hello slightly-less-back-diving deals)
  • Two amnesty buyouts which count against the player’s HRR share, but not the salary cap, which can be used up prior to the start of next season or the 2014-15 campaign.

Most importantly, I’d think:

  • Any team can win the draft lottery. You can keep winnin’ for MacKinnon for all I care. Shame, because #SuckForShinkaruk and #SkidForPopeyeJonesKid were going to be big staples of the stretch run

Olympic participation has yet to be determined, but I’d say it’s fairly given.

Welcome back. It’s gonna be a nice change to finally talk a little bit of hockey around here.