On Wednesday afternoon, the NHL Board of Governors ratified the new CBA with a unanimous vote of 30 to 0. Not long after, the Stars organization officially got to work on what will be a long process of trying to make it up to the fans.
The problem with the announcement of the tentative agreement several days ago is that, even though it was all but a done deal, there are still rules and regulations in place about what a team can or cannot say, and what they can or cannot do. The coaches aren't allowed to coach, the GM can't offer contracts to any big name restricted free agents, and the owners still have to watch what they say. As a result, it's likely that the Stars organization decided to err on the side of caution, in order to avoid any legal issues or stiff penalties from the league.
Now that the owners have at least ratified the CBA, the all out blitz to bring back fans can really begin. And it all starts with Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, who issued a formal statement to the fans, media, and sponsors addressing all that has happened over the last several months. Says Gaglardi:
"To our sponsors, broadcast partners, and most importantly, our loyal fans and season seat holders, we cannot overstate how much we appreciate the incredible patience you have shown throughout this entire process. We're obviously thrilled that the National Hockey League Board of Governors ratified this deal, and that Dallas Stars hockey will be back on the ice very soon.The new agreement, once ratified by the Players' Association, will offer long-term stability to our league, and most importantly, will feature many specific elements that will level the playing field across the league. Now we can turn the page and move forward with our plans to mold the Stars into the elite NHL franchise our fans are accustomed to supporting."
Over the next week or so, the Dallas Stars will begin announcing the details on how they plan on moving forward. Some of that begins this morning, with a slew of radio interviews across the DFW area. If you're up this morning, here's where you can tune in to hear the latest news:
6:55 - The Ticket (Jim Lites and Brenden Morrow)
7:15 - The Wolf (Razor Reaugh and Brenden Morrow)
7:35 - KLIF (Jim Lites and Marty Turco)
7:45 - WBAP (Brenden Morrow and Razor Reaugh)
7:55 - i93 (Brenden Morrow and Marty Turco)
8:05 - KSCS (Marty Turco and Razor Reaugh)
2:15 - The Ticket (Tom Gaglardi)
Expect even more good things to come out as soon as the Players' Association ratifies the CBA as well. That process should be completed sometime on Saturday.
Coming up in the daily links: The Stars are on a tight schedule, more Roberto Lungo trade rumors, and Gary Bettman..... apologizes?
- With such a shortened training camp, and no preseason games, Gulutzan & Co. have to find a way to make sure the team is NHL ready. One of those ways might include a full scrimmage against the Texas Stars. [Dallas News]
- In the meantime, more players are filing in each day. Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, and Eric Nystrom are the latest to arrive. As an added bonus, Marty Turco is skating with the players, too. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Across the twitter verse, the Stars want you to know that these skates are all open to the public. Also, ice related, @StarsFanatics managed to grab a shot of the new Stars logo at center ice. If that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will. [Twitter/Twitter]
- Adrian Dater of SI.com puts out his first set of power rankings. The reason the Stars aren't deemed playoff worthy? Jamie Benn is still having his contract negotiated. Go figure. [Sports Illustrated]
- Elsewhere in the NHL, the Brian Burke firing is still having effects. It came as quite a show to the fans and members or the Toronto Maple Leafs, so it may take some time to adjust to the fact that it actually happened. Greg Wyshynski talks about why Burke was let go, and why it may be a good thing after all. [Puck Daddy]
- Although some people originally thought that the Burke firing happened because he refused to pull the trigger on the Roberto Luongo trade, apparently that may not be the case. The Philadelphia Flyers are rumored to be in on the hunt for the goalie as well. [TSN]
- After the ratification, the NHL Board of Governors and Commissioner held a press conference to let everyone know that it was a done deal for the owners. Oh yeah, and Bettman is sorry about that whole "lockout" thing. I'm sure there's a big line of fans waiting outside the NHL offices in order to forgive him right now. [Globe And Mail]
- Finally, in case you missed it yesterday, the Stars have begun airing TV and radio spots featuring Mike Modano, Marty Turco, and Joe Niewendyk. The main theme of these spots is "Believe." If you're thinking that the theme sounds a little familiar, it's because you're right. The last time that phrase was used, the Stars advanced to the Western Conference Finals. In honor of that, here's a an older "Believe" video that aired shortly before one of the greatest playoff games in Dallas Stars history: