NHL lockout over, Minnesota Wild back as soon as Wednesday - KMSP-TV

NHL lockout over, Minnesota Wild back as soon as Wednesday

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota Wild are back!

After a 113 day lockout, NHL owners and players have come to a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement that could have the hockey season starting in as soon as nine days.

The agreement came after a marathon session that lasted 16 hours, finally opening the door for Wild fans to see Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the Iron Range red. The clock was ticking down on what looked like a lost season, but now it looks like the puck will finally drop sometime in the next couple of weeks.

"Fortunately we got the good news and no one's going to hold grudges, everyone's just going to go in and hopefully act like nothing happened and just get ready for the season," Parise said.

The 10 year deal would reduce the players' share of hockey-related income from 57 percent to a 50-50 split, free agent contracts will be limited to eight years maximum and players also gained a defined benefit pension plan for the first time.

Training camp could be as short as six days and could get underway as early as Wednesday, depending on how quickly the players and owners get the deal ratified. The NHL could have a 50 game season that would start on January 15 or a 48 game schedule that would open up on January 19.

The Wild franchise is waiting for the deal to be ratified before announcing ticket and scheduling information. Fewer than 10 percent of Wild season ticket holders asked for the refund the team offered during the lockout.

So, with hockey back, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he hopes a long playoff run can help turn things around for hockey-thirsty businesses.

"There's a bigger issue than players versus owners, it's about the community that supports hockey across U.S. and Canada," Coleman said. "All the restaurants, shifts to pay, mortgage – it's been a struggle for a lot of folks in the area."

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