The new NHL collective bargaining agreement contains several noteworthy and interesting pieces of information. Some of the most interesting tidbits include random drug testing for players during the season, playoffs and off-season as well as the fact that players will be entitled to their own hotel room on the road as soon as they sign their second contract.
Aside from those and numerous other interesting CBA facts, the one that you may notice the most involves intermission. You'll now have an extra minute to go grab another beer between periods…or another minute of commercials to suffer through.
Adding a minute to the intermission might not sound like a big deal but it has a larger impact than you might imagine. Currently, the NHL intermission is 17 minutes. Beginning in 2013, intermissions will now last 18 minutes.
In addition, any activities that take place on the ice during the intermission – youth games, sledding and all other mascot craziness – will now be reduced from five minutes to four. Sorry kids – one minute of your time on the ice was a casualty of the lockout.
The belief is that by adding a minute to the intermission and by removing a minute from the activities on the ice, we'll see a significant improvement in the quality of the ice surface. The ice will have a bit longer to set and harden which will hopefully allow for a cleaner, safer surface for the players and thus improving the overall quality of the game.
However, let's not forget that a longer intermission also has its drawbacks. While you will be able to slow your sprint to a light jog when you're trying to hit up the bathroom or grab another order of nachos during intermission, if you're watching at home you'll be subjected to more commercials during that extra minute between periods.
It always comes back to money, doesn't it?