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After 113 days of no hat tricks or penalty boxes, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association have finally worked out an agreement to end the NHL lockout. The deal came after a 16-plus-hour bargaining session at Hotel Sofitel in Midtown that stretched into the wee hours of Sunday morning. For the first year, the salary cap is $60 million but teams can spend up to $70.2 million in the transition period, while the floor is $44 million.
Sources said the 2013-14 salary cap, a very divisive issue, will be $64.3 million, while the floor will remain at $44 million.
Revenue sharing will spread $200 million, with a $60 million NHLPA-initiated growth fund included. The NHL had hoped to change the opening of free agency to July 10, but the players stood firm and it will remain July 1, although it will start later this year due to the delayed season.
As for when the shortened 2013 season might start, ESPN reports that a 50-game season would start Jan. DETROIT -- Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the club has agreed to terms with forward Darren Helm on a four-year contract. Helm, 25, was originally a fifth-round selection (132nd overall) of the Red Wings in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Fans will remember him for helping the Red Wings bring four Stanley Cup championships to Detroit, for winning the Norris Trophy seven times, and for making difficult plays look routine throughout a remarkable 20-season career.
But what many may not know is the uneasiness that Lidstrom encountered as he got acclimatized to Detroit and the North American-style of the NHL. Shortly after Lidstrom and his then-fiancee, Annika, left their hometown of Vasteras – in southern Sweden – to begin a new life in Michigan, he talked about the difficulties of leaving home. Lidstrom had been used to the 40-game schedule that he had played with his junior team back home for four seasons. Over the next few months, Lidstrom will likely learn if leaving behind the game and the organization – not to mention the legions of fans that span several generations – was equally as tough of a decision as setting out on his hall-of-fame journey 21 years ago.
Thursday morning, Lidstrom, who played in 1,827 games, including the playoffs, made the announcement, which stakeholders in Hockeytown knew would eventually come, but were hoping it wouldn’t be so soon. The most decorated defenseman of his era, Lidstrom, who appeared in 12 All-Star games and won his first Norris Trophy at age 31, has decided to retire instead of returning to the Wings for a 21st season.

Last month, after the Wings were eliminated by Nashville in the Western Conference quarterfinals, Lidstrom said that the toughest thing about coming back next season was getting motivated to make the necessary commitment to the off-ice workouts in the off-season.
If the game took its toll on Lidstrom, it sure didn’t show very much, as he missed only 44 regular-season games during his career.
In contrast, iconic Steve Yzerman missed 322 regular-season games out of a possible 1,836 games in 22 seasons.
Last October, as Lidstrom approached his 1,500th career regular-season game, Wings coach Mike Babcock heaped praise onto the 35th captain in franchise history, referring to him as a generational-type player. Lidstrom’s 1,564 regular-season games is 10th all-time in NHL history, and only four defensemen have played in more: Ray Bourque (1,612), Larry Murphy (1,615), Scott Stevens (1,635) and Chris Chelios (1,651). Lidstrom’s longevity certainly puts him in an elite level, especially among European-born players who have come to North America to make their mark in the NHL.
However, as impressive as the number of games that he played is, Lidstrom’s average minutes each night may have meant more.
DETROIT – In the end, it was a family decision for Brad Stuart, who is one step closer to returning to northern California after the Red Wings traded the rights to the veteran defenseman to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. In return for his rights, the Wings received a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2014 NHL amateur draft and forward Andrew Murray, who can become a free agent on July 1.
Stuart, 32, heads back to the Sharks who made him a third overall draft pick in 1998, behind Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier and Nashville’s David Legwand.
Stuart’s desire to return to California where he’s been raising a young family, including a step-daughter who will be entering her senior year of high school in the fall, has been a big issue for him.
In April, as the Wings cleaned out their locker room at Joe Louis Arena, Stuart spoke candidly about the last four years in Detroit, his teammates, the organization, his hockey future, and his desire to be closer to his family, including two young sons, Jake and Logan. Since the Wings acquired Stuart in a trade from Los Angeles late in the 2007-08 season he has regularly made trips home to San Jose, even if that meant seeing his wife Melissa and the kids for only a day before rejoining the team. During his time with the Wings, which includes winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, Stuart has been a steady contributor on the blue line and an exceptional defender on the penalty kill. Stuart’s trade, coupled with Nicklas Lidstrom’s decision to retire after a 20-season career, leaves the Wings with two defensemen – Kronwall and Ian White – who have played more than 400 NHL games. Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties.

And it came just in the nick of time, just five days before the January 11th deadline that would have meant no 2013 season at all. The language of the deal still has to be smoothed out and approved by both sides, but it is expected to be done this week. He played in just 16 regular season games for the Red Wings from 2007-09, but appeared in 41 postseason games during that same span and was an important part of Detroit’s 2008 Stanley Cup championship run and its return to the Stanley Cup Final in 2009. That’s because ever since Nicklas Lidstrom arrived in Hockeytown in 1991, the Swedish defenseman has done everything with immaculate brilliance.
But in 1991, he had to adjust to a schedule with more than double the amount of regular-season games.
And many of those games that he missed weren’t because of injuries, though he did miss 11 straight games last season with a deep ankle bruise. And of the seven NHL players, who spent some or all of their 1,500-plus game careers with the Wings, Hall of Famers Alex Delvecchio missed 42 regular-season contests out of a possible 1,591, and Gordie Howe sat-out 57 out of a 1,824. He has stood alone since passing Czechoslovakian-born Stan Mikita (1,394) a few seasons ago.
For the last 12 seasons of his career, he led the Wings in most ice-time per game, finishing last season by averaging more than 23 ?-minutes per game. Partners with Niklas Kronwall for much of his time, there’s no doubt that Stuart will be missed. However, the Wings also have Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith under contract for next season. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one. Helm missed 14 games due to injury, including the final 10 games of the season with a knee sprain suffered on March 17 at San Jose. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native returned for Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Nashville Predators, but played only 3:08 before suffering lacerated tendons in his right forearm after being struck by an opponent’s skate in the first period.

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