NHL owners will gather in New York on Wednesday to vote on the tentative labor agreement reached with the union last weekend.
If a majority approves, as expected, the NHL will move one step closer toward the official end of the lockout.
A majority of the 700 players also must approve the deal for hockey to return to the ice. A 48-game regular season would then be expected to begin Jan. 19.
The NHL has yet to release a schedule. According to TSN in Canada, teams will play two division opponents four times each, two other division opponents five times each, and the other 10 conference foes three times each.