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Players’ Association ratifies CBA

Jan 12, 2013, 4:42 PM EDT

Donald Fehr: Sidney Crosby AP

The final hurdle in approving the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has finally been cleared.

The NHLPA vote to ratify the CBA has completed and been approved. With both sides in agreement, the season can almost officially get underway. Renaud Lavoie from RDS reports 98-percent of players voted in favor of the CBA. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the final tally with 89-percent of the PA’s members voting as 667 voting “yes” and just 12 voting “no.”

What’s left for both sides is to sign off on the CBA Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU is needed as completing all the paperwork for the CBA will take weeks. Doing it this way allows for everything to get underway.

Once that’s set, the release of the full NHL schedule it set to follow. We’ll then see the start of training camps and ultimately the commencement of the shortened 48-game season.

FYI, don’t expect the signing of the MOU to take long at all. Both the players and owners are itchy to get things going in earnest.

This also means teams will be allowed to begin signing and trading players as they need to. Expect to see many veterans in search of deals to either take one-year deals or agree to professional tryout agreements.

Yes gang, business is about to pick up.

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