WINNIPEG -- With an offer on the table to consider, NHL players at the MTS Iceplex this morning were in hold-your-horses mode.
"I think it's a little bit of a tactic by them, putting the pressure on us and swaying the public to their side," said St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves. "Either way, whatever they're trying to do, it's progress and something we can work with."
Tuesday's proposal by the league, an attempt to get a full season of 82 games started by Nov. 2, is anything but a done deal, Winnipeg Jets centre Olli Jokinen said.
"I think it's a good starting point," Jokinen said. "We have full trust and full support in (NHLPA executive director) Donald Fehr, that he's going to do the right thing and get the deal done. We'll do our part over here, stay in shape and try to be ready whenever it starts."
But Jokinen cautioned this offer was no cause for celebration, at least not yet.
"The owners weren't jumping up and down when we made a proposal," Jokinen said. "So I think it's a starting point and we'll see where it leads in the next 10 days. In the next 10 days, we're going to know what's going to happen."
Jets captain Andrew Ladd was outspoken Tuesday night that there are some elements of the NHL's proposal that don't sit too well with players -- in particular the method by which players might recoup any cut in their salary because of the proposed new economics -- and he was as cautious today after the group's skate.
"I had talked with other guys that this was probably one of their plays," Ladd said about the NHL. "They'd throw the 50-50 at us and try to pressure us into taking a deal. It's not going to change the way we're negotiating. We're happy with it and it's a starting point and we'll go from there."
Ladd and others at the Iceplex this morning suggested an NHLPA response and likely a counter-proposal to the NHL would be on the way very soon.