Board of Governors unanimously votes to ratify CBA

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Board of Governors unanimously votes to ratify CBA

The NHLs board of governors had their say. Now its left to the players.

The leagues board of governors voted unanimously on Wednesday to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement, the framework of which was reached after a marathon negotiation session Saturday nightSunday morning. Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs announced the unanimous vote at a press conference in New York before commissioner Gary Bettman spoke to the media.

Bettman then issued a personal statement.

To the players who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating, to our partners who support the league financially and most important to fans who have loved and missed hockey, I am sorry, he said. I know an explanation or apology wont erase hard feelings, but I owe you one nonetheless.

No words of apology or explanation will help ease the disappointment, Bettman continued. We have a lot of work to do to win back your trust and support. That effort begins today.

When asked what specifically would be done to win back fans trust, etc., Bettman wouldnt specify.

Thats in the process of being worked on and will be announced at appropriate time, he said. There are outreaches, campaigns and efforts that will be made clear.

It truly was a long, frustrating road to get to this point, to get any semblance of a season whatsoever. Apologies have abounded from Bettman to owners to individual players who know damage has been done to the game or at least to this leagues brand of it.

As far as realignment and NHL players possibly playing in the next Olympics, Bettman said, well get to that. Both are important to players and the league and clubs. We know we need to get to that.

Now it goes to the NHLPA, which reportedly will have voting Friday and Saturday on ratification. Bettman said NHL schedules will be released once the CBA is ratified by both sides.

Eric Semborski gets his own hockey card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski gets his own hockey card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski lived out his childhood dream by calling himself a National Hockey League goaltender for one day, and he will never forget it.

Now there's proof nobody will.

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Topps revealed Wednesday that it has produced a trading card for the 23-year-old after he signed a one-day contract on an amateur tryout basis to serve as the emergency backup goaltender for the Blackhawks in Saturday's contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

While he didn't see any action, Semborski said after the game that absorbing shots during warmups from some of the best players in the league was “the best 20 minutes of my life.”

Add this to the memory bank of a story that keeps getting better.

Jonathan Toews donates $1 million to community center in Winnipeg

Jonathan Toews donates $1 million to community center in Winnipeg

Jonathan Toews was the highest paid player in the NHL this past year, and he's giving back to the community that helped him become one of the best players in the league.

The Blackhawks captain donated $1 million to the Dakota Community Centre in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised, making it the largest ever private donation to a community centre in Manitoba.

“From my earliest days playing hockey, Dakota Community Centre has always played a pivotal role in my upbringing and my career," Toews said in a statement. “Today, I continue to be honoured to have my name associated with the Sportsplex on the Dakota campus. My parents have instilled in me the importance of giving back, and I believe that in supporting Dakota, we will see endless possibilities for the Community Centre’s future and transformation in the lives of our community members.”

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Toews will also serve as the honorary chairman for the Dakota Futures Capital Campaign, which will support the construction of a new 60,000-square-foot, $20-million fieldhouse and future development of the campus.

The fieldhouse will include a 30,000-square-foot gymnasium that will contain multiple court sports, such as basketball and volleyball, sport training and conditioning, all of which will be connected to the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex. It's expected to open in the fall of 2017.

The Sportsplex was named in Toews' honor in 2010, and includes two indoor ice rinks, a gymnasium, and strength training facilities, among others.

“We are so proud that Jonathan has chosen to give back to the community in this way," said Toews' parents Andrée Gilbert and Bryan Toews. "Our family has such fond memories of hockey practices and friendships made at the Dakota Community Centre. We look forward to the opening of the new Fieldhouse and the continued growth of the Dakota  campus. Through programs for all ages and acting as a gathering place in our community, the Dakota Community Centre transforms thousands of lives each year."