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Blackhawks Wed Jan 09 2013

NHL Lockout Over: What Blackhawks Fans Should Know

Blackhawks hockeyHockey fans all over woke up Sunday morning to find that the lockout had ended. Thanks to a marathon bargaining session Saturday night, a 48-game season will start Jan 19. After 113 days of he-said-he-said, hockey is upon us. The deal was agreed to at approximately 4:40am, and it was announced jointly by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.

Commissioner Bettman released this statement: "Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper. We have to dot [sic] a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon."

Will the shortened season affect the Blackhawks?

The players who played overseas during the lockout, like Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell, Michael Frolik and Viktor Stalberg, should be fine. The players who have been working out at Johnny's Ice House during the lockout might need more game action. Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland, Daniel Carcillo, Corey Crawford, Jamal Mayers and Sheldon Brookbank are among the players who have participated in "practices" during the lockout.

You can see from the video that Patrick Kane is primed to bounce back from a disappointing 2011-2012.

What is a Collective Bargaining Agreement?

According to the NHLPA's website, "The CBA outlines the terms and conditions of player contracts and how income is distributed between the NHL and the NHLPA. Formalizing these details ensures that NHLPA members can make informed decisions about their careers in the event of grievances, arbitration, transfers, or injury. Other issues addressed in the CBA include player salaries, free agency, eligibility, health and safety, endorsements, and travel-related expenses."

How does the new Collective Bargaining Agreement affect the Blackhawks?

Download it here to see for yourself: NHLPA CBA. Know that contracts like the one Marian Hossa signed are now a thing of the past.

Should I go to the United Center to support the Hawks?

Yes, hockey fans are known for their loyalty. If they came back after the last lockout, why not?

What should the NHL do to make sure that a lockout doesn't happen again?

Contract most of the teams in the southern region of the United States. Maybe Columbus and Nashville as well. The level of hockey would be so much better if the league got rid of some of the cities who have no business with a hockey team in the first place. Moving the Atlanta team was a good start.

Is it still fashionable to hate the Vancouver Canucks?

Yes it is.

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