NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NHL players are ready to go back to work, but the lockout isn’t over yet. The owners and union now must sign a memorandum of understanding before training camps can open.
After a 36-hour vote that ended Saturday morning, the players’ association announced that its members approved the deal reached with the league last week.
The league’s board of governors unanimously ratified the contract on Wednesday. The plan was for training camps to open on Sunday, assuming the memorandum of understanding was finished. Voluntary physicals and medical exams were permitted to begin on Friday.
The remaining transition rules, such as when players can go on the ice and for how long, were still being finalized.
“While the players’ vote ratifies the new CBA with the NHL owners, a written memorandum of understanding consistent with what the players voted on, must be completed before the agreement becomes final,” a union statement said Saturday.
Less than a week after the league and the union worked all night to secure an agreement to save the season, players followed team owners and approved the tentative deal that was reached last Sunday — the 113th day of the lockout.
Unofficial team workouts have been taking place around the league all week. A 48-game season is expected to begin Jan. 19 without any preseason games in advance, assuming there are no more glitches in negotiations.
A total of 510 games, the Winter Classic and the All-Star game were all casualties of the four-month lockout that began Sept. 16. The regular season was supposed to open on Oct. 11.
Issues such as whether NHL players will participate in the 2014 Olympics and realignment within the league will be addressed with the union down the line.
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