SUN Hockey Pool

U.S. Flames eye vote

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

After last night's Calgary Flames loss, you can bet many of the players were looking at the sports ticker for other results from around the league.

However, the team's American players were interested in a much bigger result that had nothing to do with hockey.

"This is a big day," forward Eric Nystrom, one of three Americans on the Flames roster, said after the morning skate.

In the end, U.S. voters selected Democratic candidate Barack Obama over Republican John McCain.

"I'm going to go about my business, take care of (the game) and then I'll be looking forward to seeing how it turns out and what people really think," said Craig Conroy, who was born in New York State.

"It's good people are interested because they're obviously not happy with the way things are going -- the economy, the war in Iraq ... It's going to be a great day. It's going to be a long day."

"It's exciting," added Nystrom. "I pay attention to it, watch CNN, try to read the papers. It's tough being up here, not getting the full coverage, but it's going to be exciting."

The Flames dressing room may be mainly filled with Canadians, but the group is much like the rest of the world with this U.S. election, as it paid close attention to its progress and ultimate outcome.

"I think we've got a lot of guys who just like to argue, so anything we can argue about works, even politics," Nystrom said.

"It's good to be up to date with current events and pay attention to that stuff, because there is a world outside of hockey and a lot of things going on.

"It's important to pay attention instead of being stuck in little bubble, which you can get caught doing. It's good to have a team like this interested in that stuff."

They sure had plenty to discuss, from how long the process took to how contentious the debates became.

"Obama had to go so long just to get the nod from the Democrats. It seemed like forever," Conroy said. "McCain was done in a short time, but Obama kept going and going and going.

"Everybody's watching not just Americans.

"Worldwide, I think everybody wants to see what's going to happen.

"People are taking more notice of this one. It would have been nice to be home to vote -- it's right by my house."

Conroy voted by proxy.

Nystrom admitted he and David Moss didn't vote yesterday.

"We figured it out this way. Mosser was going to vote for one guy, I was going to vote for the other," he said. "So we cancel each other out."

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NOTABLES

Only a couple of days after saying his knee injury suffered Saturday would keep him out a week to 10 days, Flames D Robyn Regehr was back

in action. That meant D Adam Pardy returned to the press box ... Flames D Dion Phaneuf will participate today in the annual Alberta Children's Hospital radiothon. Phaneuf, the club's official player ambassador for the hospital, will spend an hour from 2-3 p.m. manning the phones at the hospital taking and making calls to raise money. The radiothon will be broadcast on Country 105 and Q107 and takes place today through Friday at the hospital from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day ... Three Coyotes scored their first goals of the season: Former Flames Derek Morris and Steve Reinprecht as well as Ed Jovanovski ... Reinprecht's goal was also the 300th point of his NHL career.


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