Hockey Is Back, with a Catch

Posted on February 20, 2013 by

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After six long months, the long wait finally ended. On 6 January, 2013, the NHL Board of Governors reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which all but ended the NHL lockout that had resulted in the cancellation of over 500 games.

The lockout was caused by the expiration of the previous CBA, which had been settled in 2005. Over the course of the last few months, the league’s players and owners debated on which side would gain a greater amount of money in revenue.

The lockout, unfortunately, had large repercussions on the NHL season.

For starters, the amount of games that will be played will be virtually cut in half because of the large cancellation of games. Popular fan events such as the All Star Game and the Winter Classic have also been cancelled.

Because of the shortened season, the amount of games being played by each team will be reduced to 48 instead of the usual 82 game season. The regular season will run from January to April.

In the shortened season, teams will be forced to play games on back to back nights very often, and fatigue in players will be a large discussion point as the season goes on.

The play-off schedule should be one of the few things that will remain the same in the shortened 2013 NHL season. The playoffs will begin in late April and will run until the Stanley Cup final ends in June.

This season will not be the first time the NHL has had a shortened season due to a lockout. The 1995 NHL season started in late January with each team playing 48 games, just like how it will be in 2013. The entire 2004-2005 season was lost to a lockout, which made professional hockey the only North American sport to lose an entire season to a lockout.

Despite the shorter amount of games in a shorter time span, NHL fans will still return to watching the sport they love and root for their favorite teams.

The new CBA will not expire for ten more years, which means that there won’t be another interrupted season for a long time.

That’s something about which all hockey fans can be happy.

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