SUN Hockey Pool

Twilight zone offer from PA

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Readying to board a bus for an overnight bus trip through the French Alps, Steve Reinprecht had plenty of time to ponder what would happen next.

Reinprecht, the Flames forward currently playing in France during the lockout, was bracing for news he didn't expect to come until morning for him.

"I won't find out anything until about 8 a.m. here," he said from a time zone eight hours ahead of Calgary. "Am I optimistic? The fact that they are talking at such length the last couple of days is promising but until something's on paper and they're telling me to come back, then I'll be optimistic."

Considering Goodenow and the players have strongly maintained their stance of no cap, the move caught many off guard, including Reinprecht.

"I was surprised. I had no idea that was going to happen," Reinprecht said. "If that's what our executive committee and Bob have decided is the best for us, then I support our union.

"I think both sides gave a little bit and that's what you have to do in negotiation. They moved off their linkage and we moved away from not accepting the cap."

The change in the players' stance wasn't a big deal in the minds of a few Flames players, including Andrew Ference.

"You have to trust in the executive committee," said Ference. "They're the ones we've put our trust in and we hired Bob to make the tough decisions. In their best forecasting, this is the time to get a deal like this.

"I'm all for getting the season started and if that's what our committee decides, I'll support it.

"I would have much rather had this happen a few months ago but that's just the nature of the beast."

Not all players were happy, including Buffalo Sabres player representative Jay McKee.

"If that's where we were going, I wonder why now," McKee said."

Only time will tell if it's going to be enough to put together a new deal but Ference was one of many a little more optimistic.

"There's still bargaining that has to be done. Hopefully, I can be proven wrong for saying I didn't believe it would be done," he said.


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