A relieved Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement those in hockey waited nearly four months to hear. He then apologized to players, sponsors and hockey supporters.
If there are no snags, ratification could be finished by Saturday and training camps can open Sunday if approval is reached on both sides.
“I think 48 is most likely at this point, unless the players can expedite their ratification process,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email Monday.
All schedule issues, including the length of the season, still need to be worked out. The NHL has models for 50- and 48-game seasons.
Chris Kerber, ‘the voice of the Blues’, will be heard calling games soon on KMOX. Ron Jacober also previews the BCS National Championship Game with CBS Sports writer Dennis Dodd.
George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, was an adviser to the NHL players’ union before joining FMCS three years ago.
In addition to the vendors who depend on sales and tips to make ends meet, the city of St. Louis also comes out a loser in the dispute between owners and players.
NHL labor talks broke off soon after they resumed Wednesday, with players maintaining their new proposal was a huge economic concession.
“We did give them the proposal,” union head Donald Fehr said. “They indicated they’re going to have a response to us a little later on.”