It took them 113 grueling days but the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players Association have finally reached a deal on a new, 10 year, collective bargaining agreement. The news broke early Sunday morning, around 5:30 AM, after a marathon meeting between the league and PA. Details are still coming in, which means the official start date for the delayed 2012-2013 season is still unknown at this time.
Information about the new CBA is still coming in as well. This is what we know so far from various sources:
- 10 Year length with an opt-out clause after eight years.
- $64.3 million salary cap and $44 million salary floor in year two.
- Salary variance on contracts year to year cannot change more than 35 per cent and in the final year cannot change more than 50 per cent of the first year.
- Contract limit of seven years for new players (UFA’s) and eight years for current players (re-signing).
- Revenue sharing at $200 million plus a $60 million growth fund.
- New draft lottery giving all 14 non-playoff teams a chance at the first overall selection.
- Changes in rules for sup. discipline. Darren Dreger: Shanahan 1st, appeal with Bettman 2nd. For six or more games neutral third party will decide if necessary.
Various media outlets are also reporting that NHL players will participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic games, but that is not included in the CBA.
Keep checking back with Sunshine State Hockey for more information as it becomes available.
As everyone in the hockey community knows by now the current collective bargaining agreement expires tonight at 11:59 PM EST. If a new deal is not reached by that time Sunshine State Hockey will end all coverage of the NHL and Florida Panthers on our site until a new CBA is agreed upon.
This does not mean that we will go completely silent with our coverage of the hockey world. Thanks to the recent partnership formed between SSH and FAU Hockey we will be able to bring everyone the latest news, information, and game recaps from the Owls. Also, starting tomorrow, we will begin covering the San Antonio Rampage, Florida’s American Hockey League affiliate. Adding coverage of the Rampage to Sunshine State Hockey will fill the void left by this ridiculous NHL lockout.
I want to personally thank all of our readers for your continued support, especially during this tough, unnecessary time. I would also like to wish all of the arena employees, especially those I’ve gotten to know over the years at the BB&T Center, the best of luck. Remember they are the ones who are suffering the most from this mess.
Hopefully this will all blow over sooner rather than later.
There is so much going on with the National Hockey League, the NHLPA, and potential lockout we figured it was time to take another trip around the net. Just like with previous installments of this article we will feature posts from other writers and sites relating to the current hot topic. Of course everyone knows that the biggest news in the hockey community is the lockout. Sadly the only thing fans can do at this point is wait and hope that this does not last the entire season like it did in 2005.
Panthers Preparing For Season That Might Not Come – The Sun Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov published multiple articles regarding the Florida Panthers and their take on the current lockout situation. This is the first.
Weiss: Playing Elsewhere ‘Has Crossed My Mind’ – More from Harvey Fialkov, this time in video form.
Where Will Luongo Land? Former #FlaPanthers Goalie Heads Back To Vancouver – George Richards explains that even with the league on the verge of another lockout goaltender Roberto Luongo is still looking for a new place to call home.
A Look Back At The Latest Work Stoppages In Pro Sports – TSN published an article this week highlighting the most recent lockouts from the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.
Gary Bettman: ‘This Is Very Hard And I Feel Terrible About it’ – Puck Daddy’s own Greg Wyshynski reports that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has feelings. Wait, what?
How To Explain NHL Lockout To Your Non-Hockey Friends: Puck Daddy’s Guide – The folks behind Yahoo! sports’ Puck Daddy blog have put together a humorous guide for hockey fans and their non-hockey friends.
Owners Know Fans Will Return – ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who seems to have no knowledge about the sport of hockey, blames hardcore fans for the lockout.
NHLPA Seeks Ruling To Make NHL Lockout Illegal In Quebec – TSN reports that instead of putting their complete focus on a solution for all 30 teams some members of the NHLPA are trying to block the lockout in different parts of Canada, including Quebec.
When talks of another lockout began I swore that Sunshine State Hockey would not feed the egos of the National Hockey League, its commissioner, the owners, or the players association by publishing articles talking about the childish argument over money that may very well lead to another missed season. I decided last night, after seeing players like James Wisniewski of the Columbus Blue Jackets use the hashtag #thefans on Twitter, that I had finally seen enough and it was time to speak my mind about this dollar sign duel. Being a fan of hockey, and more importantly the NHL, for almost 15 years means that I had the displeasure of experiencing the 2004-2005 full season lockout. At this point, since both sides have retreated into their holes without any common ground, it is a very real possibility that another 82 game lockout may be on the way.
Obviously this is something nobody wants, not even the greedy owners or players. The NHL generated record revenues last year, so missing out on the 2012-2013 season would be a big blow to a league that took so long to recover from the previous lockout. Let us also not forget about the success of non-traditional teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers during 2011-2012. Florida won their first ever SouthEast division championship and qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 12 years, gaining ground in a crowded sports marketplace while, just three short months ago, the LA Kings won their first ever Stanley Cup by putting together one of the most dominant playoff performances in NHL history. There is no doubt that any type of a lockout would hurt the momentum built by both franchises last season.
The most interesting aspect of the Collective Bargaining Agreement arguments is the fact that fans are actually picking sides because they actually believe the league and its players care about them. I think it has become pretty obvious at this point that the only thing both sides care about is the almighty dollar. Of course this should come as no surprise considering the fact that the NHL is nothing more than a business, just like all other professional sports’ leagues. As fans we always here “it’s just the nature of the business” or “that’s the business side of the sport for you”. Just like in 2004, we are being given a strong example of what those quotes truly mean.
I already picked my side in this fight months ago when the talks began to pick up. My allegiance is not with the billionaire owners who offered ridiculous contracts to overrated players, only to now demand that those athletes get paid less money. At the same time I refuse to side with a players association that represents $100 million, 10+ year contract holders like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Ilya Kovalchuk who base their arguments around the saying “we only have a limited time to earn money while owners continue to do so”. I proudly support the people stuck in the middle of this battle, the fans and the arena workers that do not make billions or millions of dollars.
The NHL and NHLPA seem to forget the fact that money does not grow on trees. Obviously it must be hard to remember that with all of the “big money” walking in and out of the meetings once a week. The majority of fans for any professional sport come from middle-class families. Even yours truly has trouble paying the price for full season tickets each year, and I live in one of the cheaper hockey markets. I always find a way to because my love for the game is stronger than any price tag attached to it. One would think that if both sides loved the game as much as the fans that they would find anyway possible to play, just like we find anyway possible to pay. It is disappointing to think that hard working fans who choose to spend their money on the NHL might not get what they paid for.
If anyone believes for a second that they will easily get their money back from their favorite team if there is a lockout think again. Unless things have changed since the 2004-2005 no-season anyone who wants their cash back will have to put up a big fight to get it. During the last lockout I had purchased season tickets before the season was cancelled. Once Gary Bettman made the announcement on February 9th, 2005 I had requested my money back from the Florida Panthers, only to be denied. After weeks of arguing back and forth with my ticket representative and COO Michael Yormark they finally agreed to give my hard earned cash back to me, in $100 monthly installments. I cannot confirm if other NHL teams handle their business the same way or if Florida still does, so anyone interested in tickets might want to ask before making a purchase.
As fans we have every right to speak our minds during this frustrating time. We pay thousands of dollars to support our favorite teams and players every year, only to get a slap in the face each time the CBA expires. My recommendation for every angry hockey fan is to do everything you can to have your voices heard. Call, send e-mails, write letters, and meet with those in charge of your favorite team and the league (if possible). Tell them how you truly feel about this greedy disagreement between the NHL and NHLPA that is keeping fans from watching the greatest game on earth.
I will wrap this up with a video that has been making its way around the hockey community. Janne Makkonen, the freelance video editor from Finland that was featured on Sunshine State Hockey back in January (here), has released a new masterpiece regarding the current CBA/lockout situation. The video is titled “Together We Can #nolockout” and sums up the feelings of every hockey fan frustrated by this mess. Please watch, enjoy, and do not forget to speak out against those trying to take our favorite pastime away from us, again.
Source: (Janne Makkonen’s YouTube Channel)
By: Marc Springston
Earlier this evening the NHL’s Board of Governors approved a four conference realignment of the National Hockey League that will go into effect next season. The new conferences are as followed…
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