All Clear: NHLPA ratifies new CBA

We have seen the top of the mountain, and it is good.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association voted to ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHLPA and the National Hockey League.

That means the final remaining hurdle to the 2013 season has been overcome.

From the NHLPA release: “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.”

Of course, speculation is rampant as to the time frame that the important document will be signed and announced to the public.

It was less than one week ago that the two sides came to an accord on the framework of a new CBA and the revelation was made well before dawn on a Sunday, so for training camps to proceed as has been reported tomorrow morning, it’s a good bet that something has to come down the line either very late tonight or with a rooster crow tomorrow for the scuttlebutt to become reality.

The hot rumor out of Philadelphia, courtesy of Tim Panaccio, is that free agent defenseman Kurtis Foster will sign with the Flyers as soon as he’s able to legally put pen to ink.

One of the worst kept secrets out there is the status of the respective schedules for all 30 teams. Nothing can be released until the MOU is crafted and signed, but there has been nothing reported which would contradict a January 19 opener at home on national TV against the Pittsburgh Penguins.