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NHL players will begin to gather in Toronto today and start the process of ratifying the tentative collective bargaining agreement.
Players are scheduled to meet tonight and Thursday morning with the NHL Players Association executive committee and executive director Bob Goodenow. The union membership will vote Thursday, in person or via e-mail for those who can't make it to Toronto.
Although the players are far from ecstatic about the six-year contract, their approval of it seems certain.
"I'd be shocked if it didn't pass," Red Wings center Kris Draper said.
Upon the players' ratification, there is expected to be a news conference with Goodenow and commissioner Gary Bettman in attendance.
Activity picks up significantly Friday. The Board of Governors meets at noon, when it is expected to ratify the agreement, conduct a draft lottery and vote on proposed rules changes.
Detroit News wire services contributed to this report.