Hockey fans don't owe any words to either the NHLPA or the NHL union. Neither side many any ground breaking concessions to keep the season alive. The two sides lost out on some aspects within the new deal, but gained on others.
Essentially how every contract dispute in the real world gets resolved.
But don't tell that to the two leaders, Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman, who wanted to "win" the deal outright. Hence the lockout lasting 113 days yet the new deal looking like a lot of people predicted back in September.
Thanks to federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, the two sides learned how to negotiate the correct way. It wasn't easy for Beckenbaugh, who for days went back and forth between the two sides.
Distrust over "hidden revenue" late last week almost derailed the entire 2012-13 season. As childish as it sounds, neither side could come face to face with one another. Instead of talking with Beckenbaugh in the room, he had to become the messenger.