lockout

Here are details of the NHL’s new CBA

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The NHL and NHLPA agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement on Sunday morning after a 16-hour marathon negotiating session.

The tentative deal ends the 113-day lockout and will finally allow fans to get back to enjoying hockey (us too.)

But before we do that, a look at the new CBA — which, it should be noted, is 10 years in length with an opt-out clause for each side that kicks in after the eighth year:

Salary Cap

The 2012-13 season will be a transition year — the upper level is set at $60 million with teams allowed to spend up to $70.2 million. In year two, the cap will move to $64.3 million (the NHL met the NHLPA’s request on that figure, as the league wanted it at $60 million.)

Should be noted the salary floor for both 2012-13 and 2013-14 is $44 million.

Contract Length/Variance

Term limit is set at seven years, eight if a player is resigning with his own team. Maximum salary variance is 35 percent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent from the highest year.

Draft Lottery

All 14 non-playoff teams will get a shot a the first overall selection. Under the NHL’s previous format, only the bottom four teams (26th through 30th place) were eligible to receive the No. 1 pick, and teams were only able move up a maximum of four spots and down a maximum of one spot.

The new format is in line with the NBA Draft Lottery, which can lead to some wild results, like in 1993 — that year, the Orlando Magic won the No. 1 pick in the draft despite finishing the 1992 season with a 41-41 record and holding just a 1.52 percent chance of winning the lottery.

Supplemental Discipline

Decisions will still be handled by Brendan Shanahan, but there’s a new wrinkle to the appeal process. Appeals will first go through NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and, for suspensions of six games or more, a neutral third party will get involved.

Miscellaneous

— The start of free agency will remain on July 1. The NHL had hoped to push it to July 10, but capitulated to the players’ desire to keep it at the start of the month.

— Revenue sharing among clubs will increase to $200 million. There’s also a NHLPA-initiated growth fund of $60 million.

— Olympic participation will be dealt with outside of the new agreement, and a joint league-player committee (possibly the NHL-NHLPA International Committee) will likely handle the decision-making.

— Teams will reportedly receive two amnesty-style buyouts that can be used over the next two offseasons.

— Minimum player salaries will begin at 2011-12’s rate of $525K. The Canadian Press’ Chris Johnston reports that they’ll top off at $750K in the seasons nine and 10 (a bit less than the NHLPA’s demands).

Video: Bettman, Fehr address media following news a tentative CBA had been reached

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.