Flames staff says winning is best way to apologize to fans

An end to the NHL lockout is in sight as owners and players came to an agreement early Sunday morning that could see the stalemate end.

NHL lockout is set to end after early Sunday morning negotiations

Calgary Flames owner Ken King apologized to fans Sunday for the lockout. 1:36

An end to the NHL lockout is in sight as owners and players came to an agreement early Sunday morning that could see the stalemate end.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley said Sunday the team will work hard to get fans back on side by winning games.

"Winning is the best thing and we all have a job, whether coming from a work stoppage or on a regular year. I feel that as a coach in this game or as a player, that as soon as we’re part of this great game we have to promote it."

Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley says winning games is the best way to woo back fans. Called today "exciting." (Meghan Grant/CBC)

The proposed 10-year agreement could see players back on the ice as early as Jan. 15.

The league and the players now have to ratify the agreement, which is expected to happen in the next few days.

Calgary Flames CEO Ken King said the organization is sorry the season was delayed for fans.

"My experience with fans is that the reason they’re fans is because they love hockey and when Bob Hartley and that new coaching staff and our team step out on that ice, the best thing that we can do to show gratitude is to give them a very high-end performance and a good performance. That’s what they care about."

In Calgary, many fans CBC spoke with Sunday gave the kinds of reactions the league is counting on.

"I know there's a lot of people saying that they wouldn't want to watch but I think now that it's back you'll see a lot of people going back and watching anyways," said a fan in a Flames community arena.

On social media, however, many reactions have been negative.

On CBC Calgary’s Facebook page Rob Ormerod commented that no one will care that the NHL is back this season.

"Fans don’t want to see 'partial' season for greedy players/owners to make a few bucks to pay for their luxury lifestyles," wrote Ormerod.