After nearly a week’s worth of talks, including sixteen hours worth on Saturday, the National Hockey League and its Players Association agreed early Sunday morning to a new agreement that should result in a shortened season beginning in less than two weeks.
Reports indicate that the NHL teams will begin a 48-game schedule on Saturday, January 19.
The league could ratify the agreement on Wednesday, and the players’ union will vote shortly thereafter.
Word from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ organization is that official practices will begin this Saturday, although Pittsburgh players on Monday were once again working out at the Iceoplex at Southpointe in Canonsburg, as they have been throughout the work stoppage.
The agreement was reached on the 113th day of the lockout. In a statement released by Penguins majority co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, the Pittsburgh team apologized for the delay to the start of the season, saying “There is nothing we can say to explain or excuse what has happened in the past four months, and concluded by adding their thanks for the patience and loyalty of Penguins hockey fans.