Well that was easy. The NHL and its officials have a brand new four-year deal, all spiffy and ratified.

At a time when the NBA and the NFL are on the verge of work stoppages, it’s nice to see someone solving problems constructively and simply. Granted, the money isn’t close to the same, but still: no games, no shots in the media, just actionable solutions.

“We are pleased to have reached a new agreement with our officials,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told the AP. “We look forward to working closely with our officials to ensure that the quality of our game continues to be the best that it can be.”

We might not have basketball or football in 2011, but we’ll always have hockey.