Players haven’t been shy about slamming owners during the lockout, but many expressed guarded optimism regarding the latest proposal from Gary Bettman & Co.
A “grinning” Alex Tanguay told the Calgary Herald’s Vicki Hall the following:
“This gets the ball rolling,” Tanguay said. “That’s what we were talking about. We were hoping something would come out – whether it was on their side or our side.”
His teammate Jarome Iginla called it a “big move.”
Henrik Lundqvist told ESPN that he’s putting off signing overseas to see what happens with these developments.
As happy as some players were, a big chunk probably agree with Steve Montador that there’s still much work to do.
Jody Shelley is one of several players who treat the proposal as the start of talks rather than a big breakthrough, as he told CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.
“Glad they’re talking big issues and seems like it may be a point to which we finally get serious. But who knows,” Shelley said.
An anonymous player admitted that he isn’t sure Nov. 2 is a “realist date” to start the season, according to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.
Even so, the tone is much-improved from just a day ago, when players such as Shawn Horcoff were slamming the NHL’s stance while pointedly referring to Gary Bettman by his first name.
We’ll see if Thursday’s meetings create more positivity or send things back to the ugly, spin-heavy zone.