Or, at least it looks like it’s going to be back in the fall. The NHL and the NHLPA have announced an agreement in principle that, if ratified, will finally end the lockout that cancelled this season:
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but TSN of Canada is reporting it is a six-year deal with a hard team-by-team salary cap with a first-year payroll range of $21 million to $39 million, including all player costs. The salary cap and payroll range will move up or down as revenues increase or decrease each year of the deal.
The players caved, basically. And they have to be feeling pretty low about the fact that this deal is worse than the one they rejected in February.
It looks like there will be a draft on July 21st using a lottery format, and that things will be back to normal for the start of next season – but not quite. The league lacks a US television deal, major sponsors have cancelled, and attendance is sure to be down. It’s anyone’s guess how long it will take the league to recover, if ever.
One question: how long will it take for Bob Goodenow to be fired?