With a tentative collective bargaining agreement reached between the National Hockey League and its Players’ Association, Canucks players have begun filing back into Vancouver in preparation for training camp.
The owners will vote on the new CBA on Wednesday at the Board of Governors meeting in New York while the players will vote electronically on Thursday and Friday. If passed, the CBA would then be ratified on Saturday allowing training camps to open on Sunday. A 48-game season will begin six days later on January 19.
With a 48-game schedule, each team will play four games each against two divisional opponents, five games each against two divisional opponents and three games each against 10 conference rivals. (TSN.ca)
There is a good chance the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will be the two divisional opponents the Canucks will play four games against due to the Canadian rivalry. The schedule is expected to be released following the Board of Governors meeting.
Free agent defenceman Jim Vandermeer and Canucks Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Chris Higgins, Kevin Bieksa, Manny Malhotra, and Dan Hamhuis have all been skating with the UBC Thunderbirds regularly throughout the lockout. Alexander Edler and Jason Garrison joined the practices a month ago when they were both cleared to play.
With training camp not opening until Sunday, there was the possibility that Chicago Wolves players Zack Kassian, Andrew Ebbett, Jordan Schroeder, Chris Tanev, and Kevin Connauton would be play in Abbotsford this Friday and Saturday against the Heat. However, that will not be happening as all five are en route to Vancouver to join the team for training camp.