After months of posturing, negotiating, and stubborn foot-stomping, it appears as though the NHL and its players have reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout.

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With daylight having yet to break in New York City on Sunday morning, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr stood together to announce that a deal had been reached between the two sides - that the lockout would soon be over.  The deal's specific language will still need to be worked out, and both sides must officially approve it, but the biggest hurdles have been jumped.

The agreement comes after six straight days of negotiations and at the end of a marathon session which began with meetings with federal mediator, Scot Beckenbaugh, during Saturday's mid-morning hours. Both sides came together for what proved to be the final showdown in the early afternoon on Saturday, and remained in negotiations into Sunday when a deal was reached.

Given all that has been, few NHL fans will find themselves at ease until the puck is dropped - it is worth nothing that as of now the deal is being described as "tentative" - but it appears as though training camps will open later this week with said puck drop coming to a rink near you no later than mid-January.

*An ESPN article contributed to these writings.