The announcement early Sunday morning by NHL Commissioner and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, that brought an end to the 113 day old NHL Lockout, brought both excitement and trepidation to hockey fans around the globe. While both sides had effectively agreed to the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, they both still must vote to ratify the agreement before the process can move forward.
The NHL is expected to ratify the new agreement as early as Wednesday, at a special Board of Governors meeting, while the Players' Association is expected to vote electronically. The process may take as long as Saturday to complete.
The news sent players scrambling to organize their respective returns to North America from all over Europe. Lubomir Visnovsky of the New York Islanders may be the only non-retiring casualty of this lockput, as he has stated that he will remain in the KHL, as opposed to returning to the NHL. Meanwhile, Tomas Holstrom, the netfront pest of the Detroit Red Wings announced his retirement early on Monday.
As teams began to organize their seasons respectively, the Montreal Canadiens' braintrust of President Geoff Molson, General Manager Marc Bergavin and Head Coach Michel Therrien, held a press conference on Monday afternoon. Some of the subject they covered were the resigning of defenseman P.K. Subban and the plans going into a shortened training camp. The Canadiens plan to invite anywhere between 26-30 players, including the organization's top prospect Alex Galchenyuk.
Geoff Molson assures fans the Canadiens are ready.
Habs and Hockey News And Notes:
- While the entirety of the new NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement has still not been released, here are few of the important issues, such as the salary cap in Year 2 and the pension plan adjustments, as explained by TSN.ca
- James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail explains the "Luongo" clause. The clause is basically a cap benefit recapture program for those teams who may acquire players with "back diving" contracts.
PHOTO: THE CANADIAN PRESS/PAUL CHIASSON