Proposed NHL deal has St. Paul eager to host hockey fans


If the proposed collective bargaining agreement between NHL owners and the players' union is approved, the Minnesota Wild could be on the ice before Jan. 19, Hockey Day Minnesota.

That's not soon enough for businesses and restaurants near the Xcel Energy Center -- home of the Minnesota Wild -- who have lost thousands of dollars and had to cut back staff because of the nearly four-month-old NHL lockout. WCCO reports some businesses have lost 50 percent of their business during the work stoppage.

Tom Reid, the owner of Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub, told KARE 11 that business was down 35 to 45 percent compared to a typical winter.

"It's going to be huge," Pat Boemer, owner of Patrick McGovern's Pub & Restaurant, told the Pioneer Press. "It will be great for the avenue and the whole downtown." Wild home games makes up 12 percent of McGovern's sales.

The 10-year deal, which includes a mutual opt-out after eight years, still needs to be ratified by the players and the NHL’s Board of Governors before it’s official, but the league expects to play at least a 48-game season that starts no later than Jan. 19, the Washington Post reports.

NBC Sports has details of the NHL’s new CBA. which calls for a $64.3 million salary cap in the 2013-14 season and a seven-year cap on individual contracts, but teams can sign their own players for eight years.

"They've at least reached a tentative agreement. Hopefully they'll get it ratified very quickly and we'll get some hockey back in St Paul. It's been a long time coming," St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman told MPR. "We wish this hadn't happened, but we're just glad that it's over."

“We are very excited about today’s news that a tentative agreement is in place,” Matt Majka, Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer, said in a news release. “Like our fans, we look forward to the final approval of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and seeing our team back on the ice. Further information will be provided as soon as we receive it from the NHL.”

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St. Paul businesses brace for potential NHL lockout

The National Hockey League and its players have less than 10 days to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. The current contract expires on Sept. 15 and no new talks are scheduled. Businesses surrounding the Xcel Energy Center are concerned. Tom Reid, owner of Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub, tells WCCO Wild home games generate more than 30 percent of his annual business.