While many of the details still need to be hammered out and the deal needs to be written and signed, all signs indicate that NHL hockey will be back on the ice by the end of January, and perhaps sooner rather than later with a likely 48 or 50 game season.
According to several different reports, the deal is longer than past CBAs that led to this and previous lockouts (10 years as opposed to seven), a fact that may help players, owners and fans avoid what seems to be a cycle of lockouts with Gary Bettman as commissioner.
Reportedly included in the new CBA is a reduced salary cap for the 2014-2015 season combined with an "amnesty clause" which allows teams to buyout two contracts to help become compliant with the lowered cap.
The tentative CBA would replace the one that expired on September 15 and would presumably itself expire in 2021 when an 8-year option is up, unless both sides agree to extend it for the final two seasons of the deal.
Tags: Don Fehr, Gary Bettman, Hockey, Lockout, NHL, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning