NHL owners ratify CBA

January 9, 2013, 2:00 pm
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The NHL’s Board of Governors officially ratified the new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday in New York. The vote was unanimous, 30-0.

Commissioner Gary Bettman apologized to fans for the nearly four-month lockout, the result of which will be a 48-game season beginning later this month.

“To the players, who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating labor contracts; to our partners, who support the league financially and personally; and most importantly to our fans, who love and missed NHL hockey, I'm sorry,” Bettman said.

“I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up the last few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless.”

Bettman expressed hope that the new CBA would be good for everyone involved.

“The NHL gained a long term agreement that’s good for players and good for teams, and should guarantee the future success of NHL hockey for many years to come.”

The CBA is a 10-year deal, with a mutual opt-out option for either side after eight years.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, a lightning rod for criticism during the lockout for his perceived hard-line stance, released a statement. It read, in part:

"Together our collective future is extremely bright. Our only interest now is to look ahead and to focus on what this great game can provide to the best sports fans in the world."

The players’ association has yet to approve the deal, but that should occur by Saturday. NHL training camps are scheduled to open on Sunday, according to multiple reports.