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NHL season officially ready to begin

NEW YORK — The NHL is officially ready to go back to work.

After a 36-hour vote that ended Saturday morning, the players association announced its members approved the collective bargaining agreement reached with the league last week.

That night, the sides completed a memorandum of understanding — a document that includes the major points of the deal — that had to be signed before camps could open and the schedule could be released.

The plan was for training camps to open today.

Of the 763 players eligible to vote on the deal, 679 did; 667 voted yes, 12 no, ESPN reported.

The Board of Governors unanimously ratified the deal Wednesday.

Voluntary physicals and medical exams were permitted to begin Friday. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller joined teammates in Buffalo that day and had a few things to get off his chest about the 113-day lockout.

"The best thing to do is acknowledge that it was stupid," said Miller, who participated in negotiations. "It was just a stupid, useless waste of time."

Fired leafs gm speaks: Brian Burke never saw his dismissal as Maple Leafs general manager coming. "There's sometimes when you get fired and you see the vultures circling and you understand it's coming," he said at a farewell news conference in Toronto. "This one here was like a 2 by 4 upside the head to me." Burke was fired Wednesday morning, called and told to report to the team office while driving to the airport for a Board of Governors meeting in New York to vote on the labor deal. Burke, fired after four years and no playoff appearances, said he hadn't received a "satisfactory" answer to why he was fired, though he did say, "Obviously, your job as the GM is to bring in players that win. We didn't win."

NHL season officially ready to begin 01/12/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:32pm]

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