The NHL and players association reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement early Sunday morning, ending the lockout that began Sept. 15.
After a marathon session in New York, league commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr announced the deal.
"We have to dot a lof of the I's and cross a lot of T's," Bettman told reporters in New York. "There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon."
There will be a ratification process and the league Board of Governors and player will have to officially approve the new CBA, which reportedly will run 10 years.
"Any process like this in the system we have is difficult," Fehr told reporters. "We have the framework of a deal. We have to do the legal work ... and we'll get back to what we used to call busuness as usual just as fast as we can."
The final push during talks which lasted 16 hours was led by a federal mediator that helped the sides bridge the final gap on several key issues, including contract terms, salary cap and pensions.
Details on when the season will begin and how many games each team will play haven't been announced, but it is possible a 48-50-game schedule could begin Jan. 19 or even a few days sooner.
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