NHL schedule: Players' CBA vote will pave way for camps to open Sunday

Bruce Bennett

The NHLPA is expected to ratify the CBA on Saturday morning, paving the way for training camps to open Sunday.

The NHLPA announced Thursday evening that their CBA ratification vote will be completed by Saturday morning, and that if the vote passes as expected, training camps will open around the NHL on Sunday.

The players' ratification vote will open at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 10. It will be open for 36 hours, closing at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan 12, after which the NHLPA will publicly announce the results of the vote.

The vote will be conducted electronically, just as the the union vote on the disclaimer of interest was held, and all ballots will be secret. The NHLPA has over 700 members. It's expected that the CBA will be ratified overwhelmingly, and players have already begun returning to their NHL cities in anticipation of camps opening Sunday.

Once the CBA is ratified, players must be back and ready for camps to open. Ilya Kovalchuk would be the most-notable player threatening to stay away. He seems intent on playing in the KHL All-Star Game on Sunday but doesn't have permission from the New Jersey Devils to do so. Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings will play in the game but has the blessing of his NHL club.

The season is expected to begin Saturday, Jan. 19. The NHL's Board of Governors ratified the new CBA with a 30-0 vote on Wednesday.

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