After 113 days of debates, deal making, and arguing, the NHL owners and NHL Players Association have finally reached a deal to ended the lockout — less than a week before the 2012-2013 season would have been declared officially dead.
While the deal hasn’t been finalized at the time this article was published (the NHL’s board of governors and the NHLPA’s executive board still must ratify it), all sources seem to believe that it’s as good as done. The next step is determining how long the season will be. ESPN is reporting that there are two options. If the season lasts for 48 games, expect the first regular season puck drop on January 19th; if they opt for a 50 game season, fans should see their first game on January 15th. For a more in-depth analysis of the CBA and its details, read more here.
Obviously the season is a lot shorter than fans would have initially hoped for, but at this point, NHL fans are happy… as is anyone else who works in/for the league or its teams. We’re happy because (on top of all the fights and shootouts we get to see) a return to professional hockey also means a return of the NHL Ice Girls.