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A tentative agreement has been reached that will end the NHL lockout. The league and its players association reached a deal early Sunday after a marathon 16 hours of negotiations in New York.

The 10-year collective bargaining agreement still must be ratified by the NHLPA.

No start date has been set or how many games will be played.

"We have reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed early Sunday morning in New York. ""I want to thank Don Fehr. We still have more work to do, but it's good to be at this point."

According to TSN Hockey Analyst Aaron Ward, part of the agreement saw the league come off their demand for $60 million cap in Year 2 of the new deal to meet the NHLPA's request to have it at $64.3 million - which was the upper limit from last year's cap.

Face to-face meetings with federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh for 16 straight hours from Saturday afternoon through the early hours of Sunday morning were needed to save the season.

Bettman previously said a regular season schedule of at least 48 games had to start Jan. 19

The lockout has been the second-longest in league history, behind only the one in 2004-05 that wiped outthe entire season.

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The main highlights from the deal, according to reports so far:

— The CBA will run for 10 years through 2021-22, with an option to terminate the deal after eight years.

— Players receive defined benefit pension plan.

— Owners and players split revenue 50-50 each season, with the players receiving $300 million in deferred “make-whole payments” to ease the transition from previous system.

— A pro-rated salary cap of $70.2-million for the shortened 2012-13 season followed by a salary cap of $64.3-million in 2013-14. The salary floor will be set at $44 million for both years.

— Seven-year limit on free-agent contracts (eight-year limit when a team signs its own player to an extension).

— A maximum salary variance of 35 per cent from year to year, with no more than a 50 per cent total difference between any two seasons in the contract.

— The minimum salary starts at $525,000 this season and reaches $750,000 for the 10th and final year of the agreement.

— 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 participation of NHLers in future Olympics has yet to be determined. The decision will be made outside of the CBA. 

Words from The Star

NHL, Lockout

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