SUN Hockey Pool

Flames reaction subdued

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

Jarome Iginla refused to get too excited.

Refused to say he was ecstatic the NHL and its players have agreed in principal to a deal that would end the 300-plus day lockout.

It's not that the Flames star captain wasn't happy with yesterday's news, he was just busy looking to the future.

"There are so many positives to look to," Iginla said from Kelowna. "For a long time, there was so much negativity -- talk about the Armageddon. It was there during the Olympics, there during the World Cup and there during the Stanley Cup.

"On the ice, I think it hurt the product. There was so much battling off the ice and I think it had an effect. Plus, I'll feel a lot better when I hear next season's a go officially."

It's a deal that will see the players surrender more than they expected when the lockout began, which has led to speculation it may be voted down.

Andrew Ference couldn't believe it would be rejected.

"It was never about us getting a 1994-type deal," he said from Canmore.

"It was about how much we had to move on things to make it a viable league. I cannot believe anyone would vote it down, thinking something better is possible."

One thing to be sure of is there will be plenty of turnover, Calgary included.

Very likely, Martin Gelinas has played his last game with the Flames, as he's now an unrestricted free agent, though staying is his first choice.

"I'm not sure what the structure will be for a player my age. There's 30 teams out there, hopefully one will be a taker," he said from Shawinigan.

Then there's the rampant speculation about the future of NHLPA head Bob Goodenow, who spent years saying he wouldn't accept a cap and ended up with a deal worse than if he'd have gone for one from the start.

None of the Flames were willing to pile on Goodenow, unlike recent outbursts from L.A. Kings forward Shawn Avery.

"Sometimes you make decisions that aren't the right decisions and it's best to try to learn from it," Gelinas said. "It's better to get it done and move on. It's just the way it's gonna be. We had people we put our trust in, six guys in the executive committee, Bob and Ted (Saskin), and this is what they came up with.

"Like it or not, this is what it's gonna be."


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