At one point during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement during the 2012 lockout, a juncture during which things weren’t looking particularly good, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly outlined the league’s insistence on limiting contracts to five years and called it, “the hill we will die on.”

Everyone knows you never end a sentence in a preposition – the correct way to say it would have been, “It’s the hill on which we will die” – and you don’t make extreme statements during negotiations that you’re going to later have to retract. The NHL did not get its five-year contract limit and it didn’t die on any hill.

The players got the eight-year limit they were seeking, at least for players who sign extensions with their own teams. Those signing as free agents from other teams are allowed a maximum of seven years.


Read more: Long-term deals great if you give them to the right players | Post-to-Post