The 2012 NHL lockout moved one step closer to being placed in the history books as the NHL's Board of Governors unanimously voted to approve the new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday afternoon.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun was the first to break the news of the ratification, though the outcome of the vote was never really in doubt.
NHL governor inside the room via text: ``It's been ratified.''— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) January 9, 2013
The vote is the first of two that are necessary to officially end the lockout. The NHLPA membership must also approve the deal, with voting currently scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The PA will use the next 26 hours or so to brief players and agents on the deal's intricacies before the vote.
Even with the tight time frame, training camps are still on track to open up on Sunday. A few more Dallas Stars players trickled into town for Wednesday's skate, including Alex Goligoski and Eric Nystrom.
The NHL is in the midst of a news conference about the ratification. More to come shortly...
Back in the Theatre of the Absurd, while the league was making waves with the end to this blasted labor negotiation, the Toronto Maple Leafs tried the best to steal some of the spotlight. The Leafs unexpectedly relieved Brian Burke of his general manager duties just a few hours before the Board of Governors meeting.
Burke will remain with the Leafs as a senior adviser to the club, but he will have no say in hockey operations. Our friends over at Pension Plan Puppets had this take on the insanity.
The timing of this announcement is, in keeping with Toronto traditions, completely insane. Rogers and Bell completed their purchase of MLSE on at the end of August and presumably were not sitting around on their hands during the lockout. They've now left the team in disarray with ten days before the season opener against Montreal. The more things change...
Burke was apparently scheduled to be among the Leafs representatives at the BoG meeting but obviously wasn't there. There will undoubtedly be more on this story as the reasons behind the move start to trickle out.