Camps could open Sunday; season by Jan. 19

TROY — It appears teams will open training camps on Sunday with a 48-game season ensuing on Jan. 19.

The owners are set to cast their vote in the new collective bargaining agreement today in New York, while players will vote the following two days.

As far as the look of a schedule, teams will play four games against two divisional opponents, five against two other divisional opponents and three games against 10 conference rivals.

“There’s parity,” Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi said. “Look at the L.A. Kings they barely got in and won the Cup. They came together at the right time. I know we played them maybe with two or three games left in the season and we blew them out. It also comes down to luck and some health. Hopefully our superstars will come back flying and the rest of us have to catch up in training camp.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the schedule should be released by the end of this week or the weekend.

“Every game will be so important,” Wings forward Darren Helm said. “You look down the stretch last year, it seemed like it was a 40-game race near the end. Right now we’re starting off everybody’s even at that point. You have to stay healthy, manage your body as well as you can. That’s the really important thing with the schedule we have coming up.”

The league also played a 48-game schedule after a 103-day lockout during the 1994-95 season.

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