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NHL Set to Unlock Its Doors, Start Season as Framework to New CBA Has Been Agreed Upon

January 6th, 2013 at 9:01 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

Do you believe in miracles? Yes, the famous Al Michaels call when Team USA beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic games implies here, because hockey fans have just received a miracle.

The NHL and NHLPA announced today that the framework of a new CBA has been agreed upon. The two sides reportedly agreed on the framework at 4:40 am, but no information has been released regarding scheduling or how many games will be played.

"Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told NHL.com. "We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon. We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the League side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well. We are not in a position to give you information right now about schedule, when we are starting. It's early in the morning and we have been at this all day and all night, obviously. But, we will be back to you very shortly, hopefully, later today with more information in that regard."

Once the deal is put on paper and formally approved by both parties, the NHL can begin to plan its shortened season, which is believed to begin around Jan. 19 to give teams a chance to hold a short training camp. 

 

"Any process like this in the system we have is difficult; it can be long," Donald Fehr told NHL.com. "I've said repeatedly throughout this process, somebody would say, 'What do you see ahead?' And, the answer was, 'You get up tomorrow and you try to find a way to do it and you keep doing that until you find a way to succeed. As Gary just indicated, we have the framework of a deal. We have to do the legal work and we have to do the constituent-communication work. At least, from my [standpoint], and I'm sure Gary's too, we need to let them know the details before we tell all of you. Having said that, hopefully, we're at a place where all those things will proceed fairly rapidly and with some dispatch and we'll get back to what we used to call business as usual as fast as we can."

The formalities still remain, but the NHL has saved a season, and possibly its brand by finding a way to come to an agreement. More details will be reported as they become available.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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