Updated 01/11/13 at 12:25AM via http://espn.go.com:
NEW YORK -- NHL players will have 36 hours from Thursday night until Saturday morning to vote on the new labor deal that would end the four-month lockout.
The players' association announced that electronic voting will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday ET and will last until 8 a.m. Saturday. The union said it will announce the result after voting is finished.
If a majority of the more than 700 players choose to accept the deal that NHL owners unanimously ratified on Wednesday, training camps will open Sunday, and a 48-game regular season will begin Jan. 19.
A tentative agreement was reached early Sunday, the 113th day of the lockout, after a 16-hour negotiating session in New York.
The new deal is for 10 years, but either side can opt out after eight. The previous collective bargaining agreement was in effect for seven seasons.
The lockout began on Sept. 16, and forced the cancellation of 510 games, beginning with opening day on Oct. 11. The outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star Game were also wiped out this season.
The NHL says it will release a new schedule once the ratification process is completed.
A memorandum of understanding that has been in the drafting process by the two sides this week must be signed before training camps open.
The players' association wanted as much of the document as possible to be completed before voting began.
Leading up to Thursday's start time for voting, the union has been busy calling players and agents to educate them about the changes and additions to the tentative agreement.
Assuming the deal is approved by the players, as expected, there will be only six days between the opening of camps and the start of the season. No preseason games will be played.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
Hockey is back! Below is the official release from the NHL via nhl.com:
NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association reached agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement early Sunday morning.
After a marathon 16-plus hour negotiating session at the Sofitel Hotel that began Saturday afternoon, the sides announced an agreement in principle shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday.
The League did not announce the start date of the season or the number of games each team will play. Those details will be announced soon.
The deal, agreed to at approximately 4:40 a.m., was announced jointly by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr in the same hotel conference room where the negotiations were conducted with the assistance of Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
"Don Fehr and I are here to tell you that we have reached an agreement on the framework of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the details of which need to be put to paper," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "We have to dot a lot of I's and cross a lot of T's. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the basic framework has been agreed upon. We have to go through a ratification process and the Board of Governors has to approve it from the League side and, obviously, the players have to approve it as well. We are not in a position to give you information right now about schedule, when we are starting. It's early in the morning and we have been at this all day and all night, obviously. But, we will be back to you very shortly, hopefully, later today with more information in that regard."
Fehr, meanwhile expressed an eagerness for his constituency to get back to playing hockey after a negotiation that stretched across 113 days.
"Any process like this in the system we have is difficult; it can be long," Fehr said. "I've said repeatedly throughout this process, somebody would say, 'What do you see ahead?' And, the answer was, 'You get up tomorrow and you try to find a way to do it and you keep doing that until you find a way to succeed.
"As Gary just indicated, we have the framework of a deal. We have to do the legal work and we have to do the constituent-communication work. At least, from my [standpoint], and I'm sure Gary's too, we need to let them know the details before we tell all of you. Having said that, hopefully, we're at a place where all those things will proceed fairly rapidly and with some dispatch and we'll get back to what we used to call business as usual as fast as we can."
Beckenbaugh, who took part in these negotiations at three different junctures of the overall process, worked with both sides from this past Wednesday until the deal was finalized Sunday morning. Commissioner Bettman praised the work of Beckenbaugh and thanked the mediator for the role he played in the potential settlement.
"I want to recognize the extraordinary contribution that my colleague, Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services, made in providing herculean assistance of the highest caliber to the parties throughout the most critical periods in the negotiations," FMCS Director George Cohen said as part of a statement.
The new CBA, which still must be drafted and formerly approved by both parties, would replace the agreement that expired Sept. 15.
More to come.
Nashville Predators site: http://predators.nhl.com/