Update 1pm: More details are coming in. Check the bolded bullets after the jump.
Update 11:15am: The deal still includes amnesty buyouts. Each team will be allowed two amnesty buyouts. These buyouts can be used before the start of the 2013-2014 or 2014-2015 seasons. There will be no buyouts prior to this season starting. Yes, that means Wade Redden is on the cap this year. This does not negatively affect the Rangers.
Original Post: It finally happened. After months of a pointless lockout that only proved that the fans are the ones that are left in the cold, the owners and players ended this silly argument at 5am this morning. The key word here is “tentative”, but the fact that they are just drawing up the paperwork is a sign of the end. Over the duration of this lockout, we heard about several sticking points that turned out to not be sticking points at all.
The game is back, and perhaps the most important aspect of this is that there will be labor peace for at least ten years, assuming no opt-out is taken. Mediator Scot Beckenbaugh should be lauded as a hero among hockey fans. His first go-round with mediation wasn’t met with much success, but this time around he got significant movement from both sides and was able to play a major role in getting a deal done.
After the jump, we bulleted the major points from the agreement (bolded bullets are updates from original post). Rejoice folks. We have hockey.
- 50/50 split of HRR.
- Soft landing to the 50/50 split. The cap will remain a pro-rated $70.2 million this year, and $64.3 million next year. The owners initially wanted an immediate drop. The $64.3 million cap in Year Two is a big win for large markets, especially the Rangers.
- Salary cap floor will be $44 million.
- Player contract length caps out at seven years, eight years if you are re-signing your own player.
- No more than a 35% variance on dollar amount from year-to-year on contracts. However, no one year can be more than 50% of the highest year on the contract. For example, a seven-year deal can look like this: $10 million, $7.5 million, and $5.185 million, and $5 million for the remainder of the deal. That $5 million is the lowest the contract can go.
- Salary arbitration remains the same, but teams can no longer walk away from a ruling unless the award is north of $3.5 million. If that clause were in place during the last CBA, the Rangers would not have been able to walk away from the Nik Zherdev deal.
- Revenue sharing sits at $200 million with a $60 million “growth fund” set aside. Still pending details on what the growth fund is.
- Realignment will not happen this season.
- This is a ten year CBA, with an opt-out after eight years.
- Minimum salary is $525,000 this year, and will climb each year until it reaches $750,000 in the last year.
- Players on one-way contracts with a salary in excess of the current minimum plus $375,000 will have the entire salary count against the cap.
The deal still needs to be ratified by the owners and the players, hence “tentative.” Hockey is back.