(Reuters) - The National Hockey League's lockout is close to ending after the league reached a deal with the players on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, NHL.com reported on Sunday.
The report said the deal was agreed after a 16-hour negotiating session which ended on Sunday morning. No details were given on a start date to the new season or the number of games to be played.
The deal was announced jointly by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.
"Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.
"We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon.
"We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the League side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well," he added saying details on the new season could be made available later on Sunday.
With half of the 2012-13 regular season already lost to the labor dispute, the NHL set a January 11 deadline for a new deal so that a 48-game campaign could begin eight days later.
The lockout, which the league has said is costing it about $18-$20 million a day, began in mid-September when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired with both sides at odds over how to split the NHL's $3.3 billion in revenue.
The dispute, which follows a lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 campaign, centered around the salary cap number for the 2013-14 season, the pension fund and length of player contracts.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by John Mehaffey)
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