New York, NY (World Wide Gamble) - The National Hockey League has ratified a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Board of Governors gave its approval on Wednesday by a 30-0 vote, and it was formally announced by Board chairman and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. The last remaining step towards an official start to the 2012-13 season will be the NHLPA's ratification of the same.
Commissioner Gary Bettman also took to the podium and issued an apology for the events which led to the 113-day lockout, the third of his tenure.
"I'm sorry. I know an apology or explanation isn't enough, but I owe you an apology. I read the letters, I followed the tweets. I read the blogs. We have a lot of work to do ... that effort begins today."
Bettman would not specify what exactly those effort will be, stating: "That's in the process of being worked on. It will be announced at the appropriate time. There will be outreaches and efforts that will be made clear."
No official word has been given, but TSN of Canada reports that the players' union vote to ratify the CBA will occur on Friday and Saturday.
The new accord will last for 10 years, with an opt-out clause in eight. The players' share of hockey-related income will reportedly drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split. The salary cap for the upcoming season will also reportedly be $70.2 million and will then drop to $64.3 million for the 2013-14 campaign. All clubs will be required to have a minimum payroll of $44 million.
Bettman has previously stated that a regular-season schedule of at least 48 games must begin by Jan. 19. The existing 2012-13 NHL schedule had already been canceled through Jan. 14.