NHL, Players Reach Deal to End Lockout:
NEW YORK - The NHL and the players' association reached an agreement in principle Wednesday on a new labor deal, ending a lockout that wiped out last season.
The sides met for 24 hours starting Tuesday afternoon to hammer out the collective bargaining agreement that will return the NHL to the ice. In February, commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the season, making the NHL the first North American sports league to lose a year because of a labor dispute.
Both sides still need to ratify the deal, which is expected to contain a salary cap. That process is expected to be completed next week, the league and the union said in a joint news release.
It took all night and then some for the final round of negotiations to produce an agreement.
The sides met for 10 straight days in New York, and it became clear Wednesday morning - the 301st day of the lockout - that they weren't going to leave the room without an agreement in hand.
The expected salary cap will likely have a ceiling approaching $40 million and a minimum somewhere between $20 million and $25 million.
Oh, hallelujah. A baseball offseason with more to offer by way of entertainment than a choice between crappy re-runs or throwing the housecat into a snowbank.
Let's play HOCKEY!