Originally posted on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 1/6/13
  #dregerface saved the season, by the way.   The last time we were all having a hockey convo it was sometime last June when the Pens traded Jordan Staal. It feels great to be back. We haven't been this excited since Christoper Lloyd didn't die in Back to the Future.   What will the schedule be? When will the season start? What is the cap?   Answers to those questions and how they affect the Penguins after the jump.     When does the season start? As of Sunday night, still not clear. The CBA still needs to be ratified by the Owners who may meet between Tuesday and Wednesday according to John Shannon.  There is even talk that camps could open as soon as Wednesday.   Shero told Penguins.com he doesn't know if it is going to be a five or seven day camp.   By the way, you'll know when the CBA is done when Pens.com returns players to background. They had to strip all of those graphics away when the lockout started.   What will the schedule be? The word on the internet is 50 games. Five games against the division, three against the rest of the conference. No out of conference games. There are rumors of a Pens/Flyers matchup but we hope to god not.   Parts of the current schedule will be used. if you go by that. Pens would open up with a home and home with the Habs. That would get the juices flowing.   What is the cap? Cap this season can go as high as 70 million, but next years cap will be around 64.3.   The Penguins sit in a strong position. They are at 60 million. According to Cap Geek, they could spend upwards of nine millon. Cap Geek never looked so good.     What is one new rule that affect the Penguins quickly? This:  "The salary variance on contracts from year to year cannot vary more than 35 per cent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent of the highest year."   Crosby contract is why the above rule got written in. It will be interesting to see how Malkin's contract is handled this summer as it will be one of the first contracts driven by the rule.   What else is could be involved in this? Some interesting questions remain. Will they expand the playoffs as some think they will? Will there be any new rules? Will center ice be free? Steve Lepore says no.   Many more questions remain. Enjoy this:              
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