NHL Lockout Has Been Lifted

Lockout Languish is Over: That’s right fans, you can break out the NHL Jerseys, foam fingers, and noise makers and get ready to go out to the hockey rink, because the 2012 NHL Lockout is officially over! The NHL, Commissioner Gary Batteman, and owners all agreed to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement last Wednesday, with the NHLPA voting to ratify as well last Saturday.The new deal includes a mutual opt-out clause after 8 years, and contract limit terms at 7 years (8 for teams re-signing its own players) according to ESPN.com.

With the new deal in the books and everybody feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside about one another training camps opened up yesterday (Sunday Jan 13th) and a 48-game regular season is slated to begin this Saturday January 19th. A total of 720 games will be played over a 99-day regular season with the last games to be played on April 27th. The Playoffs will follow on April 30th and The Stanley Cup Finals will run no later than June 28th. Other important dates to note: The trade deadline will be April 3rd and free agency begins on July 5th.

Final Thoughts: Well, it only took both sides a little over 113 days and the cancellation of 510 regular season games (including the Winter Classic and NHL All-Star Game), but hey hockey is back, baby! Thanks to Jackpot Capital casino for offering lots of entertainment during the lockout and I’m sure many people’s social networking skills have improved too whilst waiting for this news to break. NHL fans can rejoice in knowing the league successfully avoided repeating the same fate of” The season that never was in 2004-2005″. How about it hockey fans? Are you excited about the 48-game season? Or has the lockout taken all the fun out of this year? Leave a comment below.

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NHL= No Hope Left

Meaningless Meeting: It was more of the same this week, as the NHL and NHLPA failed once again to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. The two sides did not meet with one another, but rather met separately with federal mediators. Despite discussions lasting a total of six hours, no progress was made and no future talks are planned for now, according to sources.

At this point, the only thing that is getting accomplished is the cancellation of regular season games. All games through December 30th have been nixed. That’s almost half of the season gone (roughly 43 percent according to ESPN Stats).

Final Thoughts: Unless something can be done, and soon, I don’t foresee this lockout ending. With nearly half the season wiped out, and neither side budging (with federal mediators help mind you), I fear this season is all but lost. My advice to Boston fans: Watch pre-recorded Bruins games from last season, focus on the Celtics, and start a calendar countdown to opening day at Fenway (116 days by the way), because hockey isn’t being played anytime soon at the Garden.

2012 NHL Lockout Update: Mediation Might Not Work

ImageThe Bad News: At first, the NHL and NHLPA agreeing to bring in federal mediators to help negotiate the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, actually sounded like good news. Then the two sides met up for the first time in over a week this Wednesday, and after two days of lengthy discussion, (with federal mediators mind you) they still couldn’t come to terms on anything.

Here’s a friendly reminder of what’s on the table during these seemingly fruitless meetings: elimination of salary arbitration, free agency rule changes, limits to player contract terms, and of course shared revenue.

The Worse News:  As if it isn’t bad enough to see federal mediation failing to help, more cancellations have been made. All games through December 14th have been axed. This includes the NHL All-Star weekend festivities, which have also been wiped out.

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Salvage This Season: Boston Bruins fans and hockey fans alike can only hope that mediation brings an end to this lockout and allows a long awaited season to finally begin. Mediation has helped other sports end lockouts before, so there’s a chance this could work. However, the two sides ultimately still have to come to agreeable terms in order for anything to be salvaged. Hopefully they can cut a deal soon.

The players want to be back out on the ice playing, the owners want to be in their cozy executive chairs making profits, and the fans just want to see some hard-nosed, in your face hockey. Can’t we all just get along???

2012 NHL Lockout: Latest Update

Lockout Lingers On: After four straight days of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA have resumed labor talks this week and are trying, desperately, to salvage what’s left of a dwindling season.

The two sides have been meeting at the round table in New York City to discuss a multitude of collective bargaining hot topics, including shared or league related revenue, limits to contract terms, free agency rule changes, and the elimination of salary arbitration.

A Meeting of the Minds: Reportedly, NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, and members of the NHLPA Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Ron Hainsey, George Parros, and Kevin Westgarth met up in the city that never sleeps. Needless to say, both sides are still restless on bringing an end to this lockout.

Cancellations Continue: As of November 9th, the 55-day lockout has caused the cancellation of 327 regular season games, including the highly anticipated Winter Classic game. Reports indicate playing a full season will be out of the question. The most Bruins, and hockey fans alike can hope for is a hybrid half season at this point. While it’s refreshing to see both sides talking, talk is cheap, and until they can finalize a new collective bargaining agreement, fans will continue to wait, watch, and wonder.