It seems like CBA is the name of the game in all sports these days. The NBA and NFL have both threatened lockouts in the past year and many expect the NHL to have problems of their own later in the summer. The NLL has had their own issues this offseason, as the league and players association backed out of the final two years of the current CBA. This led to much stress from fans across North America who were hoping to watch NLL lacrosse next winter.
Last week however fans were able to take a sigh of relief when both sides came to an agreement for a 2013 CBA and will continue working on 2014. There will be lacrosse this winter as the league will be back for a 27th season. The league getting all of this straightened out so early is a great thing for the league and fans alike.
First of all the off-season can basically run as normal. Very rarely are moves made before this time in the NLL off-season, so the usual course of action was unaffected entirely. The draft shall be run as normal, as well as free agency and trades. In an off-season that many had worries about that is the best possible outcome.
The real obvious advantage is the avoidance of a lockout for the league who has seen scares from potential strikes before. In 2008 the league had another labor dispute that lead to the announcing of the cancellation of the season. Luckily the season was able to go on and the announcement was reversed a week and a half later, but it lead to Boston being pushed back a year and the Arizona Sting never returning. The league now does not have to worry about scheduling problems and teams going under because of turmoil in the league.
Even though I write about the league, I am a fan first. Going into the offseason, I was worried about the CBA and the possibility of not being able to head down to Bandits games this Winter. Luckily the league is safe for at least one more season, and league officials are hard at work to make sure that there are many more to come. I know I speak for many when I say bring on the 2013 NLL season!