NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League’s board of governors has ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with its players. The process is now in the hands of the players and they are expected to conclude a league-wide vote of some 700 players by the weekend.
Should the players vote to ratify the agreement a new season will begin almost immediately. Training camps will open as soon as Sunday and the season is scheduled to kick off on Jan. 19.
Jets owner Mark Chipman cast his vote on the CBA and wanted to address the fans of Winnipeg.
"Thank you for hanging in with us and thank you for the support our organization and I have received personally over the last couple of months," said Chipman, accompanied in New York by Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Thomson Reuters executive Patrick Phillips. "The patience and the support is going to be rewarded now."
Chipman says the organization is pondering a way to recognize what Jets fans have endured as a result of the lockout.
"Our folks are working on something right now. It’s not easily done. I think we’ve tried to be fair as much as we could with the way we handled people’s ticket money," said Chipman, referring to the organization’s policy to either return ticket money or pay interest on dollars left with the club. "But yeah, we’re kicking some ideas around. We don’t want it to be patronizing. I’d rather do nothing than have it come off as some hollow effort to appease people that are still angry. We have to come up with the right thing to do."
There were 30 votes cast on Wednesday with a majority of 16 needed to carry the ratification.