The End of the NHL Lockout: Looking Forward

Canadians and hockey fans rejoiced last week as 2013 brought more than just poor resolutions, a U.S. Presidential Inauguration and the Golden Globes; it brought back the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL ended their four-month lockout a week ago, and it finally allowed hockey fans to stop caring (and complaining) about other sports.

On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to ratify a new 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. Some of you may have been following the lockout but, like me, didn’t really understand what this new “CBA” was.

According to NHL.com, “The wide-ranging agreement includes an economic system under which Hockey Related Revenues will be shared 50%-50% between owners and the players.” It also includes terms for players’ contracts, compensation structures and other benefits listed on the website. After the board voted, the players had 36 hours to vote, which took place the next day, and went well, mostly because the season has started.

All excitement aside, their season has been significantly reduced. The 2012-2013 season will only consist of a 720-game schedule (48 games per team), which might sound like a lot but compared to the 1230 games (82 per team) of a regular season, you can see why it may seem a little lackluster. For me though, half of a season is better than none at all.

It seems like this season is all about team rivalries and NBC Sports knows that nothing else gets a fan’s blood boiling more than a rivalry. In hockey, that includes face- smashing, glass breaking and gloves off.

Tomorrow, NBC Sports is going to be starting “Rivalry Wednesday,” which will show traditional rivals face-off, beginning with the Boston Bruins v. the New York Rangers. The shortened season will highlight more rivalries with each team playing 18 out of their respective 48 games against their division rivals.

NHL’s opening day was on Saturday, Jan. 19, and it consisted of 13 games, with 26 out of the 30 teams playing. The defending Stanley Cup champions, the LA Kings went up against the Chicago Blackhawks (I can add who won that game before I publish the story). This was the start to their 99-day schedule, with the regular season ending on April 27.

LAKingsSource

You can find out more on NHL.com for roster moves by every team as well as game stats and updates.

Important Dates to Remember

Opening Day: Saturday, Jan. 19
Hockey Day in Canada: Saturday, Feb. 9
Hockey Day in America: Sunday, Feb. 17
Regular season concludes: Saturday, April 27
NHL Draft Drawing: Monday, April 29
Stanley Cup Playoffs begin: Tuesday, April 30
Latest possible date for Stanley Cup Final: Friday, June 28

Featured Image: Source

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