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NHLPA ratifies new CBA

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The final hurdle towards beginning the 2012-13 National Hockey League season was cleared on Saturday afternoon, when the players' union announced it had overwhelmingly approved a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"The members of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) have voted to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHLPA and the National Hockey League (NHL)," the statement read.

"While the players' vote ratifies the new CBA with the NHL owners, a written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) consistent with what the players voted on, must be completed before the Agreement becomes final. The NHLPA and the NHL continue their work to finalize the MOU."

Owners unanimously approved the tentative new CBA on Wednesday and the union conducted its voting from 8 p.m. ET Thursday through 8 a.m. ET Saturday. According to RDS of Canada, 98 percent of players signed the measure.

Once the memorandum is signed by both sides, the logistics of starting the regular season can commence. Training camps are expected to open Sunday and the league will reveal its truncated schedule -- expected to be a 48-game slate that starts next Saturday.

The new accord will last for 10 years, with an opt-out clause after eight.

01/12 17:11:47 ET