NHL says 48-game regular season is 'most likely'
BY LARRY LAGE Associated Press
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 6:19 AM
The NHL appears headed toward a 48-game season for the second time in two decades.
"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 to The Associated Press.
The NHL shortened its 82-game slate to 48 games for the 1994-95 season after a 103-day lockout. A 301-day lockout in 2004-05 made the NHL the first major North American professional sports league to lose an entire season.
When the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement was agreed to Sunday morning - after 16 hours of negotiations - there was some talk of having a 50-game season start later this month.
The NHL and the players' association are working on a memorandum of understanding, which could be completed soon, then voted on by owners and players. The league has circulated a memo to teams telling them to be ready to play by Jan. 19, the date the shortened season is expected to start.
The league and the union agreed to the framework of a 10-year labor contract.
Los Angeles Kings forward Kevin Westgarth, who was part of the union negotiating team for much of the long work stoppage, expects the NHLPA to conduct a conference call to explain and answer questions about the new CBA before players vote on it online.
Players - teammates and opponents - who stayed in North America have been getting together for months to skate, conduct on-ice drills and work out on their own to stay in relatively good shape.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby and nearly a dozen teammates worked out at a suburban Pittsburgh ice rink Monday.
Original Print Headline: NHL: 48-game season is 'most likely'