Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 1/9/13
The NHL's Board of Governors gave unanimous approval Wednesday to the collective bargaining agreement it had tentatively reached with the players' association. The next step will be for players to ratify the deal. That electronic voting process is expected to begin on Friday and conclude on Saturday, with players also approving the deal. That would allow the NHL to officially end the lockout and permit training camps to open on Sunday. As soon as the lockout is officially lifted, the league is set to release a full regular-season schedule in which each team will play 48 games within their respective conferences. The season is scheduled to start on Jan. 19. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking at a news conference in New York, indicated he recognized the damage done to the league during the lockout. To our players, our partners and our fans, I am sorry, he said. I read the letters. I followed the tweets. I read the blogs. We have a lot of work to do to gain back your support. Toward that end, he said the league will initiate outreaches, campaigns and efforts to woo fans back. Bettman also said that as soon as the players union ratifies the deal and both sides sign it -- which is expected to occur on Saturday -- the NHL will release its schedule, which he said is still going through a lot of changes. Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins and chairman of the board of governors, issued a statement praising Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and the players. This great game has been gone for far too long, and for that we are truly sorry, Jacobs said. 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 Kings, as previously reported, will raise their Stanley Cup banner and get their championship rings before an afternoon game at Staples Center on Jan. 19. Their opponent will be the Chicago Blackhawks. Once schedules are released, teams will announce their ticket sales policies. The Kings are scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday at Staples Center to allow club executives to make their first public comments on the lockout and the team's plans for the future. Tim Leiweke of parent company AEG, General Manager Dean Lombardi, Coach Darryl Sutter and Business Operations President Luc Robitaille are expected to attend the event. It is to be televised on FOX Sports West and streamed live on FOXSportsWest.com at 4 p.m. Though their schedule hasn't been released, the Ducks are expected to open their season on the road. One more Kings-related note: Center Anze Kopitar is on his way back to Los Angeles for additional tests on his right knee, which he sprained Saturday while playing in Sweden. He said via text message early Wednesday that it didn't feel too bad and that he is hoping to be back soon. However, he can't be examined by team doctors until the lockout is over. The same applies to defenseman Willie Mitchell, who tweaked his knee during the lockout. His injury wasn't considered serious but he will undergo exams when players once again can see their team doctors.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

26-year-old wunderkind John Chayka named Coyotes GM

Donald Trump says he will not attend Alvarez-Khan fight

Terrell Owens: Sam Bradford is a ‘coward’ for demanding trade

Frank Vogel will not return as Pacers coach

Luis Scola heaps praise on Kyle Lowry: ‘He’s the soul of our team’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cowboys still hope Jaylon Smith can play ‘at some point’ in 2016

Von Miller: ‘I’m going to be a Denver Bronco for life’

Texas A&M WR coach goes on Twitter rant after Martell news

Pirates' Gerrit Cole asked to calm down at Pens-Caps game

Tom Brady takes selfie with Vanilla Ice

Charles Oakley calls out Charles Barkley for advocating violence

Did Johnny Manziel flip off camera crews in court?

Shilling wants to charge fans to watch games with him virtually?

Five MLB managers already on the hot seat

LeBron sidesteps question about reported ties to ‘Space Jam 2’

Underrated players showcasing themselves in NBA Playoffs

Al Davis had no idea who Darth Vader was

WATCH: Braden Holtby allows 5-hole OT winner to Penguins

Michigan TE Jake Butt shares cool photo of his All-American portrait

John Daly: I 'wasted my talents in the 90’s'

Nebraska commit Keyshawn Johnson Jr. to meet with Lane Kiffin

Atlanta Hawks’ Twitter keeps it funny during blowout

Johnny Manziel tweets joke about his mugshot

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dangerous hits spotlighted in Round 2 of the NHL playoffs

QUIZ: Name every Triple A Minor League Baseball team

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker