After 113 days of work stoppages, the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association agreed on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement in the early morning hours Sunday, meaning the start of hockey season is near.
There are 30 teams excited about getting started. It's been a rollercoaster over the last several months. ... Finally it's come to fruition. Hopefully, this is a CBA that the league and everyone can thrive in ... We're excited to start training camp. - Pens GM Ray Shero
The beginning of the season and schedule have not yet been determined. But both team and players are excited to get back to work. (More details on the deal here).
“I am really happy that a deal was reached and we’re all excited to get back to playing hockey,” captain Sidney Crosby said. "Thank you to all of our fans for hanging in there with us.”
“Everyone is excited, from the coaches, to the fans, to management and ownership,” general manager Ray Shero said. “There are 30 teams that are excited about getting started. It’s been a rollercoaster over the last several months. Every time it seemed close it would fall apart. You get your hopes up and it doesn’t work out. Finally it’s come to fruition. Hopefully, this is a CBA that the league and everyone can thrive in; we’re still awaiting details on the deal. We’re excited to start training camp.”
Now that the terms of a deal are in place, the Penguins are turning their attention to the business of a normal season. That starts with training camp. Details on when camp will begin are still being worked out, however whenever it does commence the Penguins will be more than ready.
“Training camp has been worked out from a coaching and teaching standpoint,” Shero said. “We’re still waiting on details of length, is it going to be a 7-day camp? A 5-day camp? Either way we’ll be ready. Our plans have been in place for a while. Our equipment staff is ready, medical staff is ready, and I assume the players will be ready. Every team has been prepared for a shorter training camp. We’ll be ready to go.”
Shero, who received the CBA news in an early morning e-mail from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, said details of camp invitees are still being determined, although he expects the number of attendees to be in the 24-26 range.
“The final determination will come over the next couple of days when we get the camp agenda,” Shero said. “It will be a smaller camp and we have to get right down to teaching and getting ready for the first game. It’s a condensed camp schedule, so we’ll have a condensed roster.”
Now that a deal has been agreed upon, Shero wanted to thank NHL fans, and particularly Penguins fans, for their patience and continued support throughout the process.
“We appreciate their support. It’s been a rollercoaster for everybody,” he said. “We hope we can come back and put a product on the ice worth coming out to see and that people will be excited to watch. Hopefully, this long-term CBA will help continue to grow the sport and move in the right direction, bring the fans back and win some new fans.”