The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in New York, N.Y. late Saturday night according to a release from the NHLPA.
The MOU was the last piece in the process to complete for the lockout to officially end after the NHL Board of Governors (BOG) voted unanimously on Wednesday to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players’ union.
The NHLPA’s ratification vote was completed by 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, but the league could not officially release details on a new schedule, when business of trades and free agency could take place, nor when teams could begin training camps until the MOU was signed.
That time came after 10 p.m.
Starting back up
League owners had locked out the league’s players since Sept. 15 when the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired, and both sides went back and forth for upwards of 110 days without any practices or games taking place.
It was feared during many points of this year’s lockout that the NHL would not operate at all, losing an entire season of play, similar to what happened back in 2004-2005.
That fate was avoided and with the signing of the MOU, both sides came to terms on a 10-year agreement, a very detailed document that is the longest in league history.
With only a short window of time to get everything started, many short-term employees working for the league’s teams and in related industries that are dependent upon the NHL's operation, will be scrambling to prepare for the new season to start.
Team training camps will open on Sunday, and a 720-game regular-season schedule (48 games per team) will begin on Sat., Jan. 19.