The National Hockey League appears to be set on a tentative date for puck drop on Saturday, Jan. 19.
In a memo sent out on Sunday night, the NHL suggested that its expectation is to open camps as early as Saturday en route to a 48-game schedule that will commence seven days later.
"Depending on the timing of that process, and the NHLPA's ratification process that is proceeding on a parallel track (although somewhat slower), we anticipate that Training Camps will open sometime between Saturday, January 12 and Monday, January 14," read the memo.
"We are hoping that we will be in a position to commence a 48-game NHL Regular Season beginning on Saturday, January 19 (All of these dates remain tentative at this point)."
The NHL and the Players' Association reached an agreement on the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement on Sunday to end the lockout that has been in place since mid-September. The league's board of governors will convene in New York City to vote on the new CBA on Wednesday.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, the players will likely vote electronically on the new deal on Thursday and Friday this week. LeBrun reports that the NHL and NHLPA are still working on papering a memo of understanding. A Draft Terms Sheet describing the deal went out to all 30 teams on Monday.
Depending on when a new CBA is finalized, the league - according to LeBrun - has 50-game and 48-game schedules drawn up. A 50-game season would start on Jan. 15. The existing 2012-13 NHL schedule was already canceled through Jan. 14.
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