The Washington Times - January 9, 2013, 04:07PM

The NHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement. The next step is for the NHLPA to vote on the deal to officially end the lockout.

Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs made the announcement Wednesday in New York City.

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“Hockey is back,” Jacobs said. “”This great game has been gone for far too long.”

In his address, commissioner Gary Bettman said to the players, sponsors and fans, “I’m sorry.”

Understanding that apology is not enough, Bettman said he owed an apology anyway.

“It’s a 10-year agreement, one that will stand the test of time,” he said.

NHL players are expected to vote on the new CBA in the next few days so that training camps can open Sunday.

“We’ll see how it turns out, but I’m assuming there’s going to be hockey this season,” Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer said.

Bettman and Jacobs chose to be limited in their remarks Wednesday, pending the NHLPA’s ratification of the agreement. More information should be forthcoming as soon as players finish voting.

That includes the NHL schedule, with the season set to begin Jan. 19.