UPDATE, Jan. 12: The players have voted in favour of the deal and the NHL has released the full schedule. The 99-day long season will start on Saturday, Jan. 19 with 13 games. Canadian fans will be treated to a CBC tripleheader with the Senators facing the Jets, The Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal against the Canadiens and Vancouver hosting the Anaheim Ducks. Calgary plays on Jan. 20 against San Jose and Edmonton Oilers start their season against Vancouver.
It's not official yet, but a shortened 48-game NHL season should start Saturday, Jan. 19. Which means you have about a week to get your face paint and jerseys ready, hockey fans.
Earlier this week, the NHL team owners met and ratified the collective bargaining agreement. We are waiting for the NHLPA to sign-off on the deal. This could happen as soon as this Saturday.
Details of the opening night of the season and the schedule are beginning to leak out along with details about the trade deadline and playoffs. All of these dates still have to be confirmed by the NHL.
Sportsnet is reporting that the playoffs could start on May 1 and run as late as June 28, if the Stanley Cup Playoffs go to Game 7. The Globe And Mail is reporting similar dates but with the final playoff game being scheduled for June 25.
Some tentative match-ups have begun to leak out about opening weekend:
The Leafs are set to face off against the Canadiens in Montreal on Jan. 19, according to SB Nation. The Star's Damien Cox is also reporting that the Leafs will hold their home opener on Jan. 21 against the Buffalo Sabres.
The Ottawa Senators will reportedly play the Winnipeg Jets on the 19th according to CBC's Elliotte Friedman. He also says that the Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings will open their season against the Blackhawks.
Rantsports reports that the Canucks would open up their season against the Anaheim Ducks. No word on whether the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will face off against each other to kick off the season, although we're sure Alberta hockey fans (and the CBC) would appreciate that.
The Sporting News also reports that the Penguins and Flyers will revive their playoff grudge match while two powerhouses, the St. Louis Blues and the Detroit Red Wings, will also face each other on the 19th.
All of these matchups are tentative and we'll update this post as they are confirmed.
Also on HuffPost:
How Much Are Canada's NHL Teams Worth?
Let's face it, hockey is Canada's game. So it's not a surprise that Canada's NHL teams are among the most valuable in the game. <a href="http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/#p_3_s_a0_" target="_hplink">Here's how much they're worth according to Forbes magazine.</a> (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs
The long-suffering Leafs are in Canada's biggest TV and fan market. The Leafs are the league's most valuable team worth $521-million. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens
The NHL's most successful team, the Montreal Canadiens are worth $445-million. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Vancouver Canucks
Last year's Stanley Cup runner-up, the Vancouver Canucks are worth $300-million. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
The Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames might be struggling this year but they're still worth $220-million. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Edmonton Oilers
The Gretzky-fueled glory days are over but the Oilers have a crop of young talent that they hope can be a foundation. The other team from Alberta is worth $212-million. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators
The host of this year's All-Star Game, the Ottawa Senators are the other team in hockey-mad Ontario. They're worth $201-million. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
The Winnipeg Jets
The Winnipeg Jets return to Canada was an emotional one. Canada's 7th NHL team is worth $164-million. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)