End lockout: Souray

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

INNSBRUCK -- Like many of the Team Canada players, defenceman Sheldon Souray is hoping that the owners' lockout comes to an end this summer.

"At the end of May (in Toronto) there's going to be a players' meeting," he said. "Most years, there are a lot of guys who don't go, but this year, I think almost everyone will be at those meetings."

"It will be another summer of keeping our fingers crossed and being optimistic. We don't want another summer of uncertainty."

Souray is aware that statements of that nature might encourage the owners, but he said the players' stance is already widely known.

"I know the guys miss playing, that's for sure," he said. "I think some of the strategy of the owners is that they know how passionate we are about the game, how much we want to keep playing. I kind of think they held us hostage. Guys miss it. Guys want to be back."

Like many National Hockey League players, Souray spent the winter playing in Europe so that he would be ready to return if the lockout were to end.

"Some people said we were over there for the money," he said. "We were playing for free basically. The salary covers your expenses and your insurance and that's it."

As for the NHL labour battle, Souray he feels that a settlement can be negotiated if the owners are willing to make concessions.

"We've obviously tried to negotiate everything in good faith," he said. "Rollbacks. Salary cap. I think we've given a lot and I think both sides have to bend. It can't just be us.

"At the end of the day, the fans aren't going to pay any less for tickets. They're still going to pay the same for parking and a hot dog and a beer. It's just the owners are going to make more money.

"There's still room to move, and hopefully it gets sorted out sooner rather than later."


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