Iggy bummed

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:54 AM ET

The irony isn't lost on Jarome Iginla. NHL owners and players are waging war in the current lockout, claiming to be diametrically opposed.

As the Flames captain and PA rep sees it, they don't have a different fundamental point of view.

"We believe in the same things they do," Iginla said.

"They believe in a marketplace system when it comes to the concessions, the advertising dollars, TV. They believe in the marketplace system, especially when it comes to tickets. Look at how in the playoffs tickets each round are a little bit more.

"We believe in the same system and we were still willing to hand over all the keys.

"We probably, in the long run, shouldn't have but we were doing it to get the season going.

"The deal today really shows what the owners are after. It's their way, the perfect system, and it's not about fairness."

Despite reports Monday the league would reject the offer, Iginla still awoke yesterday optimistic a break was near.

He remained hopeful the meeting between NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow would uncover common ground en route to ending the 90-day-old lockout.

Instead, the ever-optimistic Iginla was discouraged.

"I'm very disappointed. Very disappointed," he said.

"I was looking forward to this day and seeing some headway -- worked on together -- but after seeing their system, it really hits home what's going on. The deal they offered was a salary-cap system again, just their system.

"They hit a home run and now they want a grand slam."

The four-bagger, in his mind, would be the proposal offered by the players last week.

It included a 24% rollback of all salaries, changes to arbitration, rookie contracts and a luxury tax.

Instead, the league came back with a deal linking salaries to revenue.

"The big thing is the philosophy," Iginla said, explaining the association's disdain for a cap.

"They're in the market system, jack up prices for beer, so why should we not operate under the same style of system?"

Yesterday's developments have put the 2004-05 season in jeopardy but it's not enough to send Iginla to Europe for the rest of the season.

"There still was a collective disappointment," Iginla said of the reaction from players when they held a conference call after the sides met.

"As each hour went by, there was hope this was going to be positive and they would be working on it.

"It's just disappointing."


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