The first step in the NHL lockout officially being lifted has occurred.
The NHL's Board of Governors have ratified the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement that was verbally agreed to on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports on Wednesday afternoon. Pierre LeBrun tweeted that he had received a text message from an unidentified governor who stated that the agreement had been ratified.
The next step in the process is for the NHL Players' Association to ratify the document.
In order for that to happen, the 700-plus members of the NHLPA will need to pass a majority vote that will be held electronically over the course of Friday and Saturday. If a majority vote is reached, then the union will also have ratified the agreement.
After the process is complete, the lockout will officially be lifted and the NHL can resume regular operations.
It is believed that training camps will begin on Sunday, Jan. 13, with the regular season expected to begin the following weekend.