Let the games begin -- finally.
The National Hockey League season will officially get under way Saturday, three months later than scheduled, the league announced on its website.
The lockout ends after a sometimes acrimonious process to retool the labor deal between the two sides after the league's contract with the players expired on September 15.
During on- and off-again negotiations, the NHL scrapped its preseason, all games through 2012, and threatened to scratch the entire season if a deal couldn't be reached.
But on January 6, the NHL and NHL Players' Association announced they'd struck a tentative agreement after a 16-hour negotiating session at a Manhattan hotel.
The league's board of governors approved the deal Wednesday, but it wasn't official until Saturday. That's when the players' association ratified the new collective bargaining agreement. Hours later, leaders from the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding about the terms of the new 10-year labor deal.
Training camps will open Sunday, the NHL said.
Three games will open the truncated regular season at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Ottawa vs. Winnipeg and Chicago vs. Los Angeles, the reigning Stanley Cup champion.
The season is 48 games, down from the standard 82.
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