NHLPA ratifies NHL CBA; MOU still necessary for schedule release, opening of camps

Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

The NHLPA has ratified the new CBA, but there's still another step for the league to return to regular business.

The NHL Players' Association has voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL, the union announced late Saturday afternoon.

The league ratified the CBA on Wednesday with a unanimous 30-0 vote. It's unknown exactly by what margin the players approved the deal. They voted via an electronic process that ended Saturday at 8 a.m. ET.

While the new CBA has been ratified by both sides, the lockout is still technically not over. The NHL and the NHLPA continue to work on a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, and the league will not resume regular business until that process is complete. It's expected that the process could be completed Saturday evening, after which the league is expected to release the schedule for the 2013 season.

Free agency, offseason transactions and the official opening of training camps must wait until the MOU is completed as well. That's all still expected before Sunday.

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