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NHL, refs reach four-year contract agreement

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 15: Referee Travis Smith

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 15: Referee Travis Smith reacts after being injured during the NHL Rookie game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on September 15, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty/Christian Petersen

 There will be no replacement on-ice officials, at least if the NHL Officials Association and the Board of Governors ratify the four-year deal that was agreed to this evening.

Now, everyone hates the refs. This is a matter of course. But replacement refs? Way, way worse. This is good news for the league with the season set to open in barely more than 72 hours.

We'll see if collective bargaining can produce an agreement with the players a little further away from the 2012-13 season than this one did before the upcoming season. Down to the wire isn't so hot when it's the schedule on the line.



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