The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association reached agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement early Sunday morning.
After a marathon 16-plus hour negotiating session at the Sofitel Hotel that began Saturday afternoon, the sides announced an agreement in principle shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday.
The deal, agreed to at approximately 4:40 a.m., was announced jointly by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr in the same hotel conference room where the negotiations were conducted with the assistance of Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
"Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon. We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the League side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well. We are not in a position to give you information right now about schedule, when we are starting. It's early in the morning and we have been at this all day and all night, obviously. But, we will be back to you very shortly, hopefully, later today with more information in that regard."
Beckenbaugh, who took part in these negotiations at three different junctures of the overall process, worked with both sides from this past Wednesday until the deal was finalized Sunday morning.
"I want to recognize the extraordinary contribution that my colleague, Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services, made in providing herculean assistance of the highest caliber to the parties throughout the most critical periods in the negotiations," FMCS Director George Cohen said as part of a statement.
The new CBA, which still must be drafted and formerly approved by both parties, would replace the agreement replaces the agreement that expired Sept. 15.
More to come.