Key Dates & Optimism Reigns Supreme Surrounding Lockout

Just days after it looked like the 2012/13 season could be dead before it ever had a chance to get going, optimism has crept up and has taken control of the NHL lockout situation.

Five weeks after the fourth lockout in the last twenty years became official, hockey fans have reason to be excited that not only will there be NHL hockey this year, but a full 82-game schedule to boot.

The two sides met Tuesday and as everyone knows by now the NHL made a new proposal, offering to split the hockey related revenue right down the middle at a 50/50 agreement.  The NHLPA will now mull over the details and decide if they wish to return with a counter proposal or accept the latest offer.

Regardless, this is great news for the game we all love for many reasons.  The first is that it’s only the middle of October and the two sides appear willing to hammer out a deal to save the full season. I won’t get into the details of the new offer, you can check that out here, courtesy of TSN.  For now we’ll cross our fingers that the next 24 hours bring extended good news from the NHLPA in that they are committed to getting a new deal in place and having the action return real soon.

Some key dates to keep in mind:

– October 25 – this has been set as the deadline to have a new deal in place, signed sealed and delivered.

– October 26 – camps would begin providing the above date is met.

– Nov. 2 – NHL season opens with the previous regular season schedule picking up on this date.

*** as of now the previous regular season schedule would still be in affect and the previous 6 games or so that each team has missed would be made up in roughly a two-week span in April after the scheduled season ends.

This would push the playoffs back roughly two weeks but the Cup finals would still be completed before the end of June.

It’s a start and a promising one, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves until we know where the NHLPA stands.  Donald Fehr is capable of a lot of things and greed is one of them.

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