The NHL and NHL Players’ Association reached a tentative deal on a new collective agreement around 4:45 a.m. ET Sunday. While the deal still needs to be ratified by the players and the league, here are some of the highlights, based on information from sources:
• The CBA will run for 10 years through Sept. 15, 2022, with a mutual option to terminate the deal after eight years.
• A pro-rated salary cap of $ 70.2 million for the shortened 2012-13 season followed by a salary cap of $ 64.3 million — the cap is guaranteed not to drop below that number moving forward — in 2013-14. The salary floor will be set at $ 44 million for both years.
• Teams can only walk away from a player in salary arbitration who is awarded at least $ 3.5 million.
• Each team will be given the option of two “amnesty buyouts” that can be used to terminate contracts prior to the 2013-14 season or 2014-15 season. The buyouts will cost two-thirds of the remaining amount on a deal — paid evenly over twice its remaining length — and will count against the players’ overall share in revenues, but not the individual team’s salary cap.
• Revenue sharing between teams increased to $ 200 million annually.
• Any player on a one-way contract who plays in the American Hockey League with a salary in excess of the NHL’s minimum salary plus $ 375,000 will have the excess amount charged against his team’s salary cap.
• Unrestricted free agency continues to open on July 1.
• The season will run either 48 games or 50 games and will be kept entirely within the conference. Under the 48-game scenario, teams play everyone outside their division three times and an unbalanced schedule internally, with five games against two rivals and four games against two others. The 50-game scenario is more straightforward with five games versus divisional opponents and three more against everyone else in the conference.
Read more on the end of the NHL lockout.