The NHL's long-awaited new Collective Bargaining Agreement moved one step closer to being finalized on Saturday.
As NHL.com reports, the National Hockey League Players' Association has voted to ratify the new CBA. As it states in the report, the players' union announced the results of a vote by its members in favor of the new deal.
It was an anonymous vote, which was done electronically. The results of the vote were not included in the report.
Considering the large number of votes involved and various logistics, the vote took place over a 36-hour span. The results came in after it was known that all 30 NHL teams voted unanimously in favor of the new CBA.
The next step in this process is for both sides to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. At that point, we can put all of this CBA nonsense to rest for a long time with the 10-year deal.
The report did not mention a time line for that memorandum to be signed. I have to believe that they will get it done as quickly as possible, because only at that point can we all step away from documents and toward flying pucks.
In other words: Once the memorandum is in place, the announcement of the schedule and the team preparations for the season, like training camp, can begin.
This has been a long and painful process that has seen many fans grow disenchanted and the interest in the NHL wane. This, of course, is nothing new to the NHL or professional sports. Once the games begin and the action starts, expect fans' interest to shoot back up quicker than it disappeared.