SUN Hockey Pool

Mixed fan reaction

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

The word on the street was mixed yesterday among Calgary hockey fans reacting to talks between the NHL and its players association to end the lockout.

The NHLPA tabled an offer to cut existing player contracts by 24% for one season and tax team payrolls more than $40 million, but there was no proposal to include a salary cap the league says it needs to keep finances in line for a healthy future.

"I think it's a very positive step," said 49-year-old Bruce MacKenzie, a local puck fan.

"These guys aren't going to step to the table and do the 24-percent rollback unless maybe they want to play this year."

Ryan de Belser, a fan of the Calgary Flames, also likes that the two sides finally sat down to their first talks since Sept. 9.

"I think what the players have offered seems to be a definite starting point," said de Belser, 35.

But some Calgarians feel nothing will transpire despite yesterday's meeting and the promise of an NHL counter-proposal next week.

"I never like it when the players dictate how the owners run the business," said 49-year-old hockey fan Mike McNamara.

"All athletes need to put things in perspective -- everyone else has to work 20 years to make a million dollars."


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