NHL is Officially ‘Unlocked’

Nicole Jelinek, Entertainment Editor

After 16 hours of talks in New York on Saturday, it took 113 days for everyone to reach an agreement. A total of 625 regular-season NHL games were sacrificed. It took months of bitter sniping, petty politics, false hopes and broken hearts.

At 5 a.m. on Jan. 6, the word finally spread around the world: The NHL and the NHLPA had reached a verbal agreement on a tentative framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. According to Yahoo! Sports, “The NHL will be finally back, with a 10-year CBA solidified between union chief Donald Fehr and Commissioner Gary Bettman. As Fehr said, via Sportsnet: “Any process like this is difficult; it can be long…we have the framework of a deal.””

The deal ended the conflict that began on June 29, 2012, when the arguing all started. That then proceeded to lead to the July 13 proposal from the NHL that may have set back negotiations for months: One that included a dramatic drop in the players’ share of revenue from 57 percent down to 43 percent, galvanizing the union. A first offer was made on August 14, but it did nothing.

The lockout itself did not formally began until approximately 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 15, 2012. The NHL’s next big offer arrived in October, which included a 50/50 split in revenue and a start date of Nov. 2. This also did nothing and canceled the 2013 Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Both sides finally dedicated themselves to saving the season with a marathon session after a deal was reached. According to the same Yahoo! Sports article, a shortened season is expected to begin on Jan. 19 or as early as Jan. 15. John Shannon of Sportsnet reported that teams will only play within their conferences.