CALGARY - Call them cautiously optimistic.
Several members of the Calgary Flames were skating Tuesday morning at WinSport Athletic and Ice Complex when word spread of a stunning offer from the NHL to its locked-out players.
The work stoppage isn't over yet, but there's suddenly hope the Flames could soon be back to business at the Saddledome.
“It's a good start to a week," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. “I think it's important there's movement. We were hoping both sides would get together and there was movement.”
It was the NHL that made Tuesday's big move, tabling a new offer that includes a 50-50 split in hockey-related revenues. It was the first sign of meaningful progress in a work stoppage that has officially spanned just over a month so far since the previous collective bargaining agreement expired.
The NHLPA has scheduled a conference call for Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. MT to update its members on all the details of the offer.
“I'm very intrigued. I'm very excited,” said Flames winger Alex Tanguay. “I think that it shows (the owners) want to play.”
“Hopefully this is the start of serious, serious negotiations that can move along quickly,” added Flames defenceman Mark Giordano.
If the two sides can hammer out a deal this week, the regular season would now reportedly open Nov. 2.
Under their current schedule, the Flames are off that night. In fact, their first outing after that is a Nov. 6 clash with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the first stop on a five-game road swing.