Last night (Thursday) at 7pm, the NHLP began voting to ratify the new CBA. The voting is set to last 36 hours, concluding at 7am on Saturday with the almost guarantee of ending the now four month lockout. Players are now casting their ballots in secrecy with the NHLPA planning to release the results of the vote as soon as possible on Saturday.
If the majority of the over 700 strong NHLPA agree to the deal the speculation is that the NHL will release the schedule for the 48 game season late in the evening. Also with this announcement, it is expected that the NHL will officially open their training camps on Sunday. With the new CBA being a 10 year deal, NHL fans are hoping to put this ordeal behind them, but the NHLPA would still have an option to opt-out of the new deal if they wanted in the 8th year. The same option is given to the NHL, but given the track record of the league, another lockout could prove detrimental. With the current lockout in its final days, it is still unknown the amount of damage this has had on the league. While it seems like fans will be back in the arenas come the 19th, there are still a lot of people who are refusing to join back into the festivities this season.
According to the CBC, “Leading up to Thursday’s start time for voting, the union has been busy calling players and agents to educate them about the changes and additions to the tentative agreement. Assuming the deal is approved by the players, as expected, there will be only six days between the opening of camps and the start of the season.”
The St. Louis Blues have stated that their training camps will be open to fans and all are welcome to come to the Scottrade Center to watch their players practice. With the Blues taking the ice again for the first time officially, I hope that the players can find their strides once again and put the best product possible on the ice. For now we have to wait, but Sunday could be a big day of victory for the St. Louis Blues and the NHL in general. That is all for now Blues fans, but stay tuned for more on the Blues and NHL. As always, LET’S GO BLUES!