NHL Lockout Ends

Ed Stalter

After 113 long days, the National Hockey League (NHL) has finally ended its lockout. On Jan. 12 the representatives of the league and the players finally came to an agreement at approximately 10 p.m. that required a memorandum of understanding.

A memorandum of understanding refers to the general principles that were agreed to by the representatives of the league and its players, but it does not mean that they have come to an agreement of each other’s wants or needs. In smaller words neither the players nor the league have acquired what they originally wanted to get out of the lockout, but have agreed to play the season anyways.

Buffalo Sabre’s goalkeeper, Ryan Miller, feels that the lockout was “a stupid, useless waste of time”. This new agreement is meant to stay intact for the next 10 years; however, either side has the option to opt out after eight years.

Regardless of how useless the lockout may have seemed, it is great to have the NHL back in full swing. Even though nearly half of the season was cancelled, there is still a great deal of the NHL season to be played.

The regular season began on Jan. 13 with the start of training camps. The regular season then began on Jan. 19 and marked the beginning of the 48 game regular season for each team. Although the season is only 99 days in length, there will be 720 games played in total. This is great news for hockey fans because there will be at least one hockey game on every day.

The regular season will end on April 27 and the Stanley Cup playoffs will start on April 30. The lengthy lockout also caused the cancellation of important games such as the Winter Classic, which is held on New Year’s Day – as well as the 2013 All Star Game. The latest that the Stanley Cup finals will end is June 28.

There is some light that can be shed on the lockout that has had so many negative connotations. With such a short season, there is a lot more importance on each regular season game. This is not the case in the normal 82 game season. This aspect could cause the players to play much harder and can cause the competition in the league to rise to a greater amount.

Now that all of this negative attention has ended, it will be good to see the positive results of the lockout. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this NHL season.