PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After 113 days of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA announced they had a framework agreed upon to bring the lockout to a close.

The announcement came early Sunday morning, but it could not have come sooner for fans, players and owners.

On Monday, several Pittsburgh Penguins players were on the ice at Southpointe for their first practice since the deal was announced.

KDKA’s Bob Pompeani has player & coach reaction:

Sidney Crosby

On whether he’s relieved the lockout is finally over:

“I think it’s a relief for everyone to know that we’re going to be playing this season and I think [the] focus shifts pretty quick to getting ready. We know it’s going to be a quick turnaround and everyone’s excited to get going. It’ll be quite the race for however many games we end up playing.”

On if the new agreement is good for both sides:

“I think it’s good for both sides. I think there’s things both sides gained and I think it’s important that both sides come out of the deal feeling they’re both happy with what they got.”

On the shortened season’s new challenges:

“I think it’s going to be tough for everyone. I think everyone’s going to have their own challenges. We’re pretty familiar with the teams were playing against and who we’ll see often, so I think that it’s pretty much the same for everyone. Not a lot of secrets, but I think a start is always important, but if anytime it’s really important, its now. You want to make sure you start out on the right foot”

On if he wishes the season would start before the end of next week:

“I’m happy we’re starting. I’m not going to complain about waiting a couple extra days after it’s been this long. The sooner the better. It’d be nice to get as many games in as possible, but I’m not going to complain about an extra couple days. It’s worth the wait. We’re all excited to get going.”

On how big each game is going to be in a 48 to 50 game season:

“Games become that much bigger and that’s exciting. We’ve all missed that competition. We’ve al kind of craved that so were going to get a good dose of that especially early on. So, I think it’s good for everyone and I think it forces everyone to be even more prepared than maybe typically we would be.”

RAW VIDEO: Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Craig Adams:
crosby video Penguins Players React To New CBA

James Neal

On preparing for the shortened season:

“It’s definitely going to be different. Everyone’s tried to stay in the best shape they can and some better than others and I’m sure the guys coming back that have been playing are going to have a little bit of an extra jump, but I’m sure we’ll get our legs pretty quick. Just excited to be back.”

On whether he likes the schedule being primarily against division foes:

“It’s a good thing. We’re going to get right into it. We’re going to be playing teams that don’t like each other. It’s going to be fun. Every game is going to mean something. It’s going to be a good race.”

On how important a good start out of the gate is going to be:

“It’s everything, but I think a good start is obviously key. Getting off to a good start and doing things right, right away is big and obviously goaltending is huge. [Marc-Andre Fleury] looks good. He’s ready for a big bounce back. We had a tough playoff so once we get going and get things rolling, I think everyone’s going to feel better and get their confidence back.”

Craig Adams

On how the fans have been impacted by the long lockout:

“Well, certainly we understand there’s a lot of people that aren’t happy with the way this went – us included. If I was a fan I’d be frustrated too and I understand that a lot of fans are turned off and there’s some fans that probably won’t come back and that’s just the reality of the situation. I also know there’s a lot of fans, especially Pittsburgh Penguins fans, who are going to come back and support us and all we can do is play our hardest and try to put entertaining hockey out there and winning hockey.”

On if the 10-year deal with an opt out after eight is good for the players:

“We’ll see how this deal plays out. The longer term deal was something the league wanted. It’s not necessarily what we pushed for, so I think they wanted a long deal for a few reasons. One of which being this is a really good deal for them, so why not extend it as long as you can? Hopefully, we got enough things in there that it’s going to be a really good deal for us too and it’ll end up being a good 8 to 10 years for everybody.”

Brooks Orpik

On whether the fans will come back after the latest lockout:

“I think the following around here obviously is strong enough that hopefully it comes back as quick as possible. I think it’s some of the markets like Florida, Nashville and Phoenix, who had good playoff runs last year and really had built up some good momentum, I think maybe you see some of that energy evaporate in those markets.”

On how the fans might react on opening night:

“If fans want to boo us when we come back, I think they have every right to do that and they definitely deserve better than the situation the two sides put them in this year. Everyone has the right to have an opinion. The best we can do is get back playing and hopefully bring those fans back as quick as possible.”

KDKA’s John Shumway has local fan & business reaction:


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