Lockout over as NHL players, league sign memorandum of understanding
Published Saturday, January 12, 2013 4:52PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 13, 2013 7:19PM EST
The NHL and the players’ association signed a memorandum of understanding late Saturday night, completing the last order of business to end the NHL lockout.
The news came down hours after the NHL and the NHLPA announced that players voted in favour of ratifying the new collective bargaining agreement, which the two sides reached last weekend.
Saturday’s developments opened the door for training camps to get underway on Sunday. A 48-game regular season begins on Jan. 19.
With the last bit of business out of the way, the league made quick work of releasing the regular-season schedule.
Notable games on opening day include Toronto at Montreal and Ottawa at Winnipeg.
The signing of the MOU was the final order of business that had to be completed to officially end the 113-day lockout, after a 36-hour window for players to vote on the new agreement ended at 8:00 a.m. ET Saturday.
TSN hockey analyst Pierre LeBrun reported on Twitter Saturday that 89 per cent of eligible players cast ballots, with 98.2 per cent voting in favour of the deal.
Owners ratified the deal on Wednesday.
The league and players’ association announced early last Sunday that they had reached a tentative deal after a marathon 16-hour bargaining session.
U.S. federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh helped the two sides finally agree to terms, which were also officially released late Saturday night.
As sources had revealed earlier in the week, the deal is for 10 years but includes an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight.
The deal calls for:
- A 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue between owners and players.
- A seven-year cap on player contracts, or eight years when a team is re-signing its own player.
- A $64.3 million salary cap in 2013-14.
- A 35 per cent yearly variance in salary and no more than a 50 per cent difference between any two seasons.
- A playoff pool that doubles in size to $13 million for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
- A new defined-benefit pension plan for players.
Once word of the deal broke, players who had signed with European clubs began making their way back to North America, while others hit local arenas to prepare for training camps that that will run for about six days, rather than the usual three weeks.
After shortened training camps, teams will skip pre-season play and head right into games that count.