Having been locked out by NHL owners for 113 days, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews expressed his excitement that both the owners and players were able to settle their disagreements on Sunday and pave the way for a 2013 season, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune writes.
One of over 700 players expected to return to work in the United States' premier hockey league soon, Toews said via text message that he's, "excited to play hockey again, although it's bittersweet because a lot of damage was done to our game."
It's unclear how long the new season will be yet, but current proposals for 48- and 50-game seasons have been discussed. With play beginning later this month, Toews said that, "A lot of credit goes to the players who were in the bargaining sessions and worked very hard to get a deal done."
The players had to make numerous concessions in order to get a deal done, but there was significant pressure on both sides to avoid cancelling an entire season for the second time in less than 10 years. Kuc says that play will begin on either Jan. 16 or Jan. 19, depending on which proposed schedule is ultimately used.