NHLPA concludes ratification process

The National Hockey League moved closer to the start of an abbreviated season on Saturday when the players' union concluded its ratification process of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Owners unanimously approved the tentative new CBA on Wednesday and the union conducted its voting from 8 p.m. ET Thursday through 8 a.m. ET Saturday. The NHLPA said it will announce its balloting results later Saturday, while the two sides continue to work toward completing the memorandum of understanding.

"Per agreement with the NHL, we will announce results of player vote later today," the union said on its Twitter account Saturday morning. "Discussions to finalize the MOU continue this morning."

Once the MOU is signed, the lockout will officially end. Training camps are expected to open Sunday and the league will reveal its truncated schedule -- expected to be a 48-game slate that starts next Saturday.

The new accord will last for 10 years, with an opt-out clause after eight.