SUN Hockey Pool

Jarome puts a lid on cap talk

KEITH BRADFORD -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla yesterday denied that he and a select group of players made a momentum-shifting proposal to the NHL that included a salary cap.

"First of all, we have a lot of confidence in Bob (Goodenow) and the committee and they've kept us informed the whole time," Iginla said at a press conference at West Edmonton Mall.

"They've asked us about our opinions as players and talked to a lot of different players. Personally, I'm the player rep with Calgary, so I try to keep them informed (about) where we're at.

"It's tough to talk about a salary cap that we're getting but at the same time this is the position we're at. It's about next year. It's about the future of hockey."

Several media outlets reported yesterday that Philadelphia Flyers centre Jeremy Roenick, Iginla, St. Louis's Chris Pronger and others made a proposal to the league.

But Iginla, in Edmonton to promote a new Nike Canada skate, insisted the decision to put a salary cap on the table was made by union boss Bob Goodenow and his committee.

"I have talked to Pronger and Roenick but also to many guys around the league, because we're interested in what's going down. But ultimately it's the committee that's doing all this, not me. If people ask me my opinion, I'll give it, and I have."

Iginla says most players, himself included, still don't agree with the idea of a salary cap. And he warned that because players have given up so much, things will get very ugly if the owners can't make it work.

"(A cap) is not necessarily fair but we realize maybe it's not about what's right for the marketplace or whatever, it's about what needs to be done to get a deal done. To make it work," he said. "(The owners) are in very good shape. If this can't work, if this isn't a fair deal, we are going to be out a long time."

Oilers forward Ryan Smyth admitted he was caught offguard by the union's offer.

"Giving up on the salary cap is obviously really frustrating as a player," said Smyth. "The union, through this proposal, has caught us by surprise. But the fact they felt it was the thing to do to get it done, then I'm behind them."

Oilers defenceman Cory Cross said he has "faith in the committee."

But Ottawa Senators defenceman Wade Redden, who was also in Edmonton yesterday, questioned the timing of the proposal.

"If it could have been two years ago it could have been a lot more convenient for everyone."


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