NHL is back on the ice, as tentative labor agreement is reached

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NHL is back on the ice, as tentative labor agreement is reached

The NHL nightmare is over.

After a marathon, 16-hour marathon session that began Saturday and stretched into the wee hours of Sunday morning in New York City, the NHL and NHLPA emerged with the framework of a deal that put pro hockey back on the ice. The work of FMCS mediator Scot Beckenbaugh was instrumental in working through some bumps in the road that cropped up Thursday, and the sides essentially locked themselves in a room until a deal was agreed in principle.

"We would be remiss if we didnt thank Scot Beckenbaugh for his assistance in mediation process, said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "I want to thank NHLPA executive director Don Fehr. We went through a tough period, but it's good to be at this point."

There are still issues to be worked out (the start to regular season and training camps, players participating in the Olympic games etc.), but both Bettman and Fehr made the joint announcement shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Both the NHL Board of Governors and the NHLPA membership must ratify the agreement, but that's not expected to be a problem given the lateness of the hour.

When contacted by CSNNE.com about the agreement, Bs enforcer Shawn Thornton described his feelings in short and sweet terms:

Im just happy this madness is over so I can get back to work.

TONIGHT AT 6pm
Shawn Thornton on Chevrolet SportsNet Central

Andrew Ference was a member of the NHLPA negotiating committee over the last few days leading up to the deal, and had this to say on his @Ferknuckle twitter account: As players we can now do what we do best. Proudly pull on our jerseys and play with complete passion for our cities and fans. I hope that we can replace the intense negativity brought on our sport with a reminder of how great it can be when the action is on the ice. From my grandparents to our Bs fans, I am deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey. All we can do now is play our hearts out for you.

According to sources, the new CBA is a 10-year deal with seven-year term limit on individual player contracts (eight years if a player is re-signing with their current team), a 64.3 million salary cap ceiling in the second year of the deal and a new pension plan thats expected to be the only real win that the players received in negotiations. It was originally expected that training camp will begin next weekend with an NHL schedule of 48 games expected to begin on Jan. 19, but all of that could be enhanced given the early agreement.

The NHL could bump the schedule up to 50 games in length and start both training camp and the regular season schedule several days earlier. Its expected that an abbreviated training camp will be no longer than a week for NHL players and a handful of invitees from the AHL and junior hockey. The Bruins were scheduled to travel to the Bell Centre to face the rival Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 19 in the previous version of the NHL schedule, and that could very well still remain their season opening tilt.

The NHL lockout officially ended at 113 days of fighting, bile and as Thornton described it madness, and now guarantees that the league will have a long stretch of labor peace that is badly needed after two lengthy work stoppages in the last eight years.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.