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NHL Reach Tentative Deal

After six long months of negotiations, it took one extremely long night to get the NHL out of the boardroom and back on the ice. A tentative deal to end the 113-day NHL lockout was reached Sunday morning at the end of a marathon 16-hour negotiating session. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says details still need to be ''put to paper'' on the agreement. Donald Fehr, head of the NHL Players' Association, says he hopes the league will be back to business as usual quickly. A source says the deal is for 10 years with an opt-out option after eight years. The agreement was signed in a midtown Manhattan hotel after federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh got the parties to return to the bargaining table. Before the new CBA officially comes into effect, it must be ratified by a majority of both the league's 30 owners and the union's membership of approximately 740 players. The lockout has been the second-longest in league history, behind only the one that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

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