NHL Announces Basics Of New Collective Bargaining Agreement Reached
January 7, 2013
Hockey teams, including NY Islanders, gear up for possible return to the ice.
(Long Island, NY) The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association finally announced an agreement on the basics of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) this week after 113 days of negotiations, singling a possible end to a league lockout that has left many NHL fans bitter.
While the base details have been hammered out, the new CBA must still must be ratified and approved by both sides involved. It would replace the agreement that expired Sept. 15, 2012.
The League did not announce the start date of the abbreviated season, nor the number of games league teams will compete in. While NHL teams were originally slated to play 82 games for the 2012-2013 season, estimates predict that under 50 will be played now.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the had been working extensively with NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, negotiating at the Sofitel Hotel, with both sides reaching an agreement in principle shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday. However, Bettman said, there’s still much work to be done before the hockey season can get underway.
“Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper,” he said. “We have to dot a lot of I’s and cross a lot of T’s. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon. We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the League side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well. We are not in a position to give you information right now about schedule, when we are starting. It’s early in the morning and we have been at this all day and all night, obviously. But, we will be back to you very shortly, hopefully, later today with more information in that regard.”
Fehr stated that, if you want something to happen badly enough, you have to work hard until it becomes a reality.
“Any process like this in the system we have is difficult; it can be long,” Fehr said. “I’ve said repeatedly throughout this process, somebody would say, ‘What do you see ahead?’ And, the answer was, ‘You get up tomorrow and you try to find a way to do it and you keep doing that until you find a way to succeed.”
Among the teams that will be returning to the ice once the new deal has been officially ratified are the New York Islanders; their absence from their home stadium of Uniondale’s Nassau Coliseum has dealt a blow to local businesses. However, while things appear to be on the verge of returning to normal in the area, any financial reprieve merchants receive will be fleeting, as the Islanders will be moving to a newly-constructed Brooklyn-based Barclays Center for the start of the 2015-2016 hockey season, beginning a 25-year contract at the $1 billion facility.