NEW YORK, NY (NEWS1130) – Just shortly after all 30 NHL owners voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman officially apologized for delaying the season for four months.
“To our players, partners and fans, I am sorry. I owe you an apology,” said Bettman. “I’m sorry. I know that won’t erase the hard feelings but I owe you an apology nonetheless. This was a long and difficult negotiation. It caused frustration, disappointment and suffering. I read the letters. I followed the Tweets. I read the blogs. We have a lot of work to do.”
The owners and players reached a deal early Sunday morning following a 16-hour bargaining session in New York.
The players are not expected to start their own ratification vote until Friday. It will be done electronically over two days and needs majority support from the roughly 740 union members to pass.
Without any hiccups, the process would be completed by Saturday and allowing training camp to begin on Sunday.
The league is aiming for a 48-game season beginning on January 19th. The final schedule is expected to be released in the coming days with the playoffs likely going until the end of June.
A 48-game season was played after the 1994-95 lockout and that allowed for a balanced intraconference schedule in what was then a 26-team league.
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