For hockey fans all around the nation, the 2012-2013 season has been non-existent. Back in September, the old contracts expired with no new deal in sight. As a result, the NHL lockout of 2012 began.
Today, just before sunrise, a tentative deal was reached that will allow for a shortened season. The players will hit the ice in about a week, beginning the 48 game season, the shortest season commissioner Gary Bettman would allow.
With a 3.3 billion dollar business continuing to grow in the US, the players of the NHL have decided to take a 50-50 split, as well as agreed to lower the salary cap for the future seasons.
Though the season is said to begin shortly, hockey fans are not out of the woods just yet. “We’ve got to dot a lot of ‘Is’ and cross a lot of ‘Ts’,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Among the long list of things to be considered is the 2014 Winter Olympics. Whether or not the players will be able to participate is yet to be determined.
Before summing up his statements to the media, Bettman said, “Of course, the agreement will pave the way for the professional players to return to the ice, and for the owners to resume their business operations, but the good news extends beyond the parties directly involved; fans throughout North America will have the opportunity to return to a favorite pastime and thousands of working men and women and small businesses will no longer be deprived of their livelihoods.”
Hockey fans all across America and Canada can now settle down, throw on their jerseys, and enjoy the first drop of the puck no matter how many games will be played.