Highlights of the NHL players deal

Key aspects of the tentative agreement reached between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association after months of negotiations.
This photo combo shows NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, left, and Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players' Association.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement.

While there has been no confirmation of when the season starts, some reports say there are two possible opening nights for the NHL season: a 50-game schedule beginning on Jan. 15 or, at the latest, a 48-game docket up-and-running on Jan. 19.

Here are some of the main highlights of the tentative agreement (in U.S. dollars):

  • The Collective Bargaining Agreement (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.

With files from CBC News