A tentative agreement has been reached between the NHL and the players’ association. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr stood side by side in the early hours of Sunday morning to announce there was a framework in place for a new collective bargaining agreement. Read more after the jump.
Although the deal still requires language clarification, legal fine-tuning and ratification from both sides, a verbal agreement has been reached on the major points.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Bettman said, “but it’s good to be at this point.”
The deal still requires majority approval from both the board of governors — as early as Tuesday — and the NHLPA membership before it can become official.
The tentative agreement is a 10-year deal with a mutual opt-out clause after eight years and includes contract term limits at seven years (eight years for a team to re-sign its own players), a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
For the first year, the salary cap is $60 million but teams can spend up to $70.2 million in the transition period, while the floor is $44 million.
Sources said the 2013-14 salary cap, a very divisive issue, will be $64.3 million, while the floor will remain at $44 million.
Contract salary variance is capped at 35 percent from year to year, with the provision that the last year can’t vary more than 50 percent from the highest-salaried year, a source told ESPN.com.
Revenue sharing will spread $200 million, with a $60 million NHLPA-initiated growth fund included.
Word of the agreement came after the two sides hashed out their remaining differences for more than 16 hours at a hotel in midtown Manhattan. It was the lengthiest negotiating session and latest night of a lockout that has lasted 113 days — almost four months.