THE LOCKOUT IS OVER. THE LOCKOUT IS OVER. THE LOCKOUT IS OVER. (Well, Kind Of…)

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by Puck

Hockey Correspondent and Shakespeare Character, White Cover Magazine

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We should say this first: the agreement is tentative.

The NHL Lockout could still last a little longer, depending on how long the paperwork takes. You know, crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. Judging by the precedent that’s been set by the NHL and  the NHLPA these past few months, that could take anywhere from one hour to 26 weeks.

The end of the Lockout was apparent earlier this week when NHLers started to return in droves to North America. It was muddied as players like the Sedin Twins headed over to speak with Markus Naslund — now the GM of Swedish club Modo — about the possibility of playing there this season.

Deals like that are almost certainly done now.

Of course, the Russians playing house in the KHL are a different story. Will Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin actually return to the Eastern Seaboard, or are they really that upset with the NHL’s governing brass?

Would they really stay in Europe (or, is Russia in Asia?) any longer, just out of spite and bitterness?

The real question, though, is why did this take so long?

On Saturday night, both sides locked themselves in a boardroom until they hugged it out and came out with a resolution. They treated the final day of negotiations like Dennis Hopper writing Easy Rider with a bag of mushrooms.

Do they expect an applause? Should we keel over in happiness? Should we thank them for restoring order to our unnecessarily frozen lifestyle?

No.

I pulled hundreds of all nighters in university, and that was just to increase my grade points by five per cent per essay. When I think about it, all those nights spent writing about the impact of 9/11 and international terrorism until 7 a.m. did squat to improve my life.

It did, however, give me leverage for this blog spot…

Listen, NHL, if I could do that for a mediocre essay that would improve my life in no way whatsoever, what took you so long to do the same?