NHL Lockout Over

The National Hockey League will be back in business next year, after the sides agreed to a six year deal, including a salary cap.

NHL, players’ union reaches agreement in principle (ESPN)

The NHL and the players’ association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a six-year labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season. The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice on time in the fall. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.

“It’s a new day,” Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock told The Associated Press. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Both sides still need to ratify the deal, a pact that is expected to contain a salary cap — something players’ association executive director Bob Goodenow never wanted. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.

If all goes according to plan, training camps will open from Vancouver to Miami in September. NHL games will be back on the schedule come October.

As always in these situations, one wonders why the sides couldn’t have made these compromises without losing a year of play. Of course, the pressure of that lost revenue–especially for the players–is usually necessary to force people to do things they would not otherwise agree to.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Scott in CA says:

    I am just so absolutely thrilled. Really. I am.

  2. ICallMasICM says:

    This could double my pro hockey interest from last season.

  3. Brian J. says:

    That’s bad news for my hockey club, the Milwaukee Admirals. All their best players will be mired in the Nashville Predators’ futility.

  4. chris says:

    What is this thing called “hockey”?

  5. McGehee says:

    Professional hockey? When did this happen?

  6. Maniakes says:

    I guess Lacrosse’s dreams of becoming the fourth major North American professional sport have been dashed yet again.