The Avalon Minor Hockey Association and the owners of the Rogers Bussey arena in St. John's have signed a new deal over ice time, days before the dispute was due back in court.

The judge in the case, Justice Gillian Butler, urged the two sides to try to work out a deal, saying that neither side might like the decision she imposed.

At the heart of the dispute was the accusation by the arena owners that the minor hockey association wasn't using all of – and wasn't paying for – the time it had been allotted.


Arena co-owner David Bussey said Justice Gillian Butler focused the two sides to get together to work out an agreement. (CBC)

After months of unsuccessful bargaining, the association bodychecked the arena owners into court.

The two sides started talking again, and finally reached a deal on Aug. 15. The deal for ice time for the Avalon Celtics' 19 recreational and five competitive teams was signed on Monday.

Arena co-owner David Bussey gave credit to Justice Butler.

"I think that really focused us to get together and make sure got something that works for both sides," he said.

"All I can say is we're delighted now that it's concluded."


Aiden Craig, the president of the Avalon Minor Hockey Association, said both sides are happy with the final agreement. (CBC)

Aiden Craig, the president of the hockey association, agreed.

"Both parties, deep-down, everybody wanted the deal done. And maybe that was a push in the right direction, and we came up with a deal that we're both happy with," he said.

Neither side would discuss the details of the agreement, but the new three-year deal will mean less ice time dedicated to the Celtics organization.