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Morning Lineup – January 6

Sunday Morning – Game On

The big news in Geezer Central this morning is the tentative agreement reached between the National Hockey League and the players' union that was announced at 6 am.  It was evident over the last couple of days that both sides were earnest in their attempts to find a solution to their differences before the "drop-dead" date of January 11 which would have forced a cancellation of the entire season.   It started looking promising yesterday when the Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh was making a series of hikes back and forth between the NHL headquarters in Manhattan and the hotel suite where the union officials has set up shop.

USA Today reported as soon as the announcement was made three hours ago:

It took more than 16 hours of negotiations, with the big hurdles finally cleared when the players' new pension plan issue resolved, and the NHL accepted at $64.3 million salary cap for the second year and players accepted a seven-year cap on individual contracts. Teams can sign their own players for eight years.

The big win for owners is the share of hockey-related revenue is now a 50-50 split. The last CBA ended with players receiving 57% of revenue.

The new CBA also calls for a year-to-year variance limit of 35% on multi-year contracts, and the lowest season can not be less than 50% of the highest. Originally, owners wanted a 5% variance.

It is believed that NHL players will end up playing in the 2014 Olympic Games, but it is not part of this agreement.

Some more early details were outlined in our previous posting HERE (or scroll down).  I expect more items will be disclosed as they wrap things up and get them written down and signed.

By this time tomorrow Russia's premiere league, the Kontinental Hockey League will suddenly have about a 20% vacancy rate as most of their star players pack their bags and catch the early flights back to Newark.  Same for the top leagues in Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

We need to check our own skates now and get the rest of the equipment checked out before the Sunday breakfast is ready.  There will be a couple more football playoff games on the tube today, so I'm sure you want to be able to grab some of them,  too.  More coffee will be ready soon, so I'll see you back in the day room.

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