Long suffering hockey fans got a late Christmas present when the NHL lockout was finally solved in the last week, allowing for a 48-game season to start next week. What does that mean for the season? How franctic will teams be to get rosters finalized? We had our experts stop by to sift through all your questions and get you some answers. For all of our other chats, check out our chat archive page.

Bill (Montreal)

With the business of hockey soon to take place, what will happen to the 200 or so UFA's looking for work? ... Will it be complete madness for the next week?

Craig Custance, NHL Insider
Craig Custance

Yeah, it's an interesting time to be a UFA. The next week is going to be nuts. Montreal, for instance, has to get PK Subban signed and that's going to be a race. The one thing UFAs have going for them is that people are anticipating a lot of injuries. Seems inevitable with a crazy schedule. If guys aren't signed immediately they need to stay ready. Full transcript

Mike (Boston)

Why do you think that it took so long to get this CBA done? This deal basically looks like the deal that NHLPA put out there in early December before Bettman and Daley went on their rants about the negotiations.

Barry Melrose, NHL analyst
Barry Melrose

I don't think about it. It's too frustrating. People don't negotiate until they have to. We finally got to the point in the season where both sides had to and we went for 16 hours. It's very frustrating that this didn't get done in Sept. or Oct. Full transcript

Greg (Washington, DC)

In your opinion, what is the biggest surprise in the new CBA?

Katie Strang, NHL reporter
Katie Strang

I find the rule that allows salary to be retained in trades very interesting. Whereas the previous rules were more prohibitive, I think this will encourage far more movement. Already looking forward to trade deadline day frenzy! Full transcript

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