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Players sign off on deal

The SportsXchange

NHL players approved the new collective bargaining agreement Saturday, but the lockout continued.

With teams hoping to get back on the ice Sunday to start preparing for season openers next Saturday, the league and the players' association were working on completing a memorandum of understanding that must be agreed upon by both sides.

The players' 36-hour voting period on the new labor deal ended Saturday morning. Approval wasn't unanimous, ESPN.com reported, with 12 of the 679 participating players voting no. The turnout for the electronic vote was 89 percent.

"While the players' vote ratifies the new CBA with the NHL owners, a written memorandum of understanding consistent with what the players voted on, must be completed before the agreement becomes final," the union said in a statement.

The league's board of governors ratified the contract Wednesday. Voluntary physicals and medical exams began Friday.

The NHL lockout started Sept. 16 and wiped out the first three months, or 510 games, of the season. Once the memorandum is approved, a 48-game regular-season schedule will be announced.

Players have been working out this past week in anticipation of opening training camps.
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