I've abandoned you for 104 days, but after 113 agonizing days, the NHL and the NHLPA have finally struck a tentative deal to end the lockout. With this tentative deal, the season is reported to begin on January 19th, with teams beginning training camp as early as this upcoming weekend. Some of you might be jumping for joy, I know I am, or some of you might not be, because you simply just don't care about hockey. But some of you might be scratching your head, not quite understand what this all means, and whether or not to trust it, given the case of a "tentative" deal. (Keep in mind, this was the third lockout under current Commissioner Gary Bettman).
Here are some key points of the newest CBA:
10 (Well, Really 8) More Years
- This CBA should last for ten years, but if in any case, the players or the league want out, they have the option to opt out after the eighth year.
- 2012-2013 is a transition year for the salary cap, as the upper level of this season's cap is set at $60 million, and teams are allowed to spend up to $70.2 million. In Year 2 of the CBA, the cap increases to $64.3 million. The salary floor for this season and next is set at $44 million.
- The maximum length of a contract is now set at seven years, so no more crazy career-long deals to keep a player. It increases to eight years, only if a player is resigning with his own team.
- Instead of the bottom four teams now competing for the first overall pick, now all fourteen non-playoff teams will get a shot at it. This new format is in line with the one the NBA implemented. Surely with this new format, we can hope that Edmonton won't be getting the first overall pick for the fourth year in a row.
- Supplemental discipline will still be handled by Brendan Shanahan, as it was last season, but appeals will now go through NHL commissioner Gary Bettman first. If it is an appeal for a suspension of six games or more, a neutral third party will be involved in the appeals process.
- Free Agency Frenzy will continue to occur on July 1st, instead of July 10th, as the NHL had hoped to push the date. So keep it circled on your calendars!
- Revenue sharing among clubs will increase to $200 million.
- Olympic participation will be dealt with outside of the new CBA, and it is reported a joint league-player committee will handle the decision.
- Teams are reported to receive two amnesty-style buyouts, that can be used over the next two offseasons.
- For the first eight years of the new CBA, minimum player salaries will remain at $525,000. But in Year 9 and 10, they will increase to $750,000.