The National Hockey League and ice hockey players have reached agreement on a "framework" of a deal to end their lockout and salvage the season.
With a deal, the NHL can avoid losing an entire season for the second time in its history.
The player lockout began in mid-September with both sides at odds over how to split the competition's $4 billion in revenue.
All of the 2004-05 campaign was lost to a similar bitter battle over financial issues.
The league has cancelled 625 games just over half the planned schedule.