For once, Craig Conroy had an acceptable excuse to pass on a dinner invitation at Jarome Iginla's place.
And this time, rescheduling shouldn't be a problem.
After all, they're teammates again and excited to continue their close friendship in the same city in which it began back in 2001 when Conroy was first dealt to the Calgary Flames.
"I invited him over for dinner before I heard he was traded," said Iginla yesterday as he recalled hearing the news Conroy was returning to Calgary not as a visitor with the Los Angeles Kings but as the newest member of the Flames.
"He usually turns me down. He knows so many people around Calgary, he's already booked a month in advance and I don't work that far in advance. He's always got some weird excuse ... He had another one again yesterday but it was a pretty solid one."
The reason was a day already at its limit for excitement after Conroy learned he'd be staying in Cowtown even after the Kings left following last night's game.
The fact he was about to pull on the Flaming C for the first time since Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final had Conroy's former-turned-new teammates just as exhilarated.
"He's a friend of mine and I've really enjoyed playing with him in the past. I think there's a lot of guys who are excited in the dressing room -- guys who have known him before, played with him," said Iginla.
"There was a good buzz in our room today."
Count d-man Robyn Regehr among those happy to hear of Conroy's return.
"His personality's very infectious," said Regehr. "He's energetic, a positive guy. Every time you hear him do interviews, you get a sense of what he brings to us in the dressing room."
The fast-talking veteran should inject more positive energy into the club.
"He's probably talked to more than three quarters of our team already so it'll probably take them about two days to get to know him pretty well," laughed d-man Andrew Ference.