The NHL ratified its collective bargaining agreement on January 12th. Since the NHLPA and Board of Governors were eager to get the season started, they forgot to check the fine print, which later reveled some interesting last minute additions by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, including an annual lockout clause.
The new 10-year contract is the longest in NHL history, surpassing the great 14-month contract over the 94′-95′ year. Though this contract does have longevity, Bettman did add some interesting clauses including a yearly lockout requirement, July dated Winter Classics and adding six more teams in tiny, warm climate markets, including Lubbock, TX, Mobile, AL and Albuquerque, NM.
“Taking three months out of every season every year is an NHL tradition,” said Bettman. “People have come to expect a certain level of dysfunction that is synonymous with my tenure. Now if you excuse me, I have a NHLPA and shrinking fan base to piss off.”