The NHL and players union came to a tentative agreement to end the lockout early Sunday morning, halting a 113-day work stoppage that ended up costing the league a significant chunk of the regular season. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, like many players across the NHL, was happy to hear the good news.
"I'm excited to play hockey again, although it's bittersweet because a lot of damage was done to our game," Toews said. "As players we need to keep showing our fans we care. We might have a long road ahead of us there, but for now it's great to know we'll be back on the ice very soon."
A start to the season is not yet set in stone, but Jan. 19 appears to be the most likely start date. If the season begins on that day, each team will play 48 games. There's still a chance for a 50-game schedule that begins on Jan. 15.
The NHL Board of Governors will meet Wednesday in New York City to vote on the new labor agreement.