Gothamist understands that many of you don’t recognize what that is in the picture accompanying this story, it is a hockey puck and it will be appearing soon at a rink near you. The NHL and their players have reached a deal on a labor agreement, which if ratified, will bring hockey back after the entire 2004-2005 season was cancelled.

Chief beneficiaries of the new deal should be the New York Rangers who will no longer be permitted to spend money like a spoiled child in a candy store. The deal will cap team spending at approximately $39 million a year which should leave the Rangers with plenty of extra money and a chance to bring yellow seats back into the price range of an average fan.

The Islanders and Devils will also benefit from the new deal, as they will now be able to spend at a level more commensurate with their revenue streams. Ultimately, the deal will make for a frenetic summer as a majority of the players who were in the NHL before the work stoppage will need to find employment since their contracts have expired. Stay tuned; the puck should drop for real in early October.

Will you be watching or punishing both sides for the stoppage?