NHL owners approve new labor deal; players to vote

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By IRA PODELL, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — NHL owners have ratified the tentative labor deal. All that now remains is player approval to finally start the hockey season.

The league's board of governors met Wednesday in a Manhattan hotel and voted on the agreement that was reached early Sunday on the 113th day of the NHL lockout.

Players are expected to vote Friday and Saturday. If two-thirds of the more than 700 members agree to the terms, training camps can open Sunday. An expected 48-game season can then begin Jan. 19.

The NHL has yet to release a new schedule. The regular season was supposed to begin Oct. 11, but the lockout wrecked those plans after it took effect Sept. 16.

The outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star game won't be played this season.

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