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Let the Games Begin!

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The NHL and NHLPA announce an end is in sight to the NHL lockout. In the meantime, the Charlotte Checkers take on the Norfolk Admirals for their first game ever in PNC Arena.

Jamie Kellner

A couple of hours ago, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr met with the media to announce that the parties have come to an agreement for the framework of a new CBA.

Here's the official NHL announcement, along with video from Bettman and Fehr.

Chip Alexander has done a very good job outlining the initial reaction from the Carolina Hurricanes with an article this morning that includes quotes from Jim Rutherford.

Meanwhile, many hockey fans in the area are already headed to PNC Arena today for a match-up between the Charlotte Checkers and Norfolk Admirals at 1:30 pm. This is the first time ever that the Checkers will play in their NHL affiliate's home arena. Consider today a start to training camp of sorts for Checkers players who are auditioning for a spot on the Canes roster when the NHL play resumes. Speaking of auditions, Dan Ellis will get the start in net for the Checkers.

Here's a comprehensive game preview from Paul Branecky at GoCheckers.com, along with a players' perspective on the game here in Raleigh. Michael Smith also offers a Canes development perspective with comments from assistant general Manager Jason Karmanos.Bob and Cory will be at PNC today and will provide ongoing reports.

The CBA obviously continues to be a developing story, we'll bring you more throughout the day. In the meantime, treat this as a "game thread" of sorts to discuss the news and day's activities.

How are you feeling about today's news? Hopeful? Angry? Something else? Headed to PNC today to see the Checkers? Please weigh in with reaction and opinion.