Fans delirious over victory

MICHELLE MARK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:17 AM ET

Spirits soared last night as Canada reached world hockey supremacy with a 3-2 win over Finland. But it was a bittersweet World Cup victory for fans who worry the upcoming hockey season will be put on ice due to an NHL lockout expected to be announced today.

"Canada rocks!" said Lucien Reeves at Melrose Bar on 17 Ave. S.W.

"I'd have to say it really sucks, though, that this could be it for a long time.

"Who knows, maybe this will make the head hockey honchos give the players what they want."

NHL owners are scheduled to meet in New York today to decide whether to open training camps or lock out the players.

But a lockout is almost certain.

"After all the excitement of the Stanley Cup, it would be kind of surreal if there was no hockey at all," said Janice Kearns.

"They'll work it out, I'm pretty confident."

At the New York meeting, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and vice-president Bill Daly will update the board of governors on negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.

But with a press conference called for early this afternoon, many believe Bettman will announce that owners have authorized a lockout of the players, which could delay and possibly cause the cancellation of the NHL season.

The current deal expires at 10 p.m.

After a meeting last week, the league rejected an offer from the NHL Players' Association that proposed a four-point plan featuring a luxury tax, player salary rollbacks, changes to the entry-level player system and revenue-sharing.

Meanwhile, Calgary hockey fans remained relatively well-behaved.

Police lined 17 Ave. S.W. -- known during the Stanley Cup playoffs as the Red Mile -- anticipating rowdy revelry as hockey fans savoured Canada's World Cup win.

But all was quiet, aside from a few drivers honking their horns and yelling as others peacefully filed out of the bars, dodging the rain.

Instead of flooding the street screaming, blocking traffic and in various stages of undress, as was often the case during the playoffs, many stayed in their seats to watch their team awarded the new World Cup trophy and then made their way home.


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