St. Louis Blues players are eager to follow up on the franchise's breakthrough 109-point season, even as they prepare for the possibility of a lockout.
The NHL collective bargaining agreement is set to expire Sept. 15, adding an element of tension to involuntary workouts. After an informal workout on Thursday, center Scott Nichol said it's just day by day.
''We're all really excited,'' he said. ''All the guys are back in, we've got a great group and just chomping at the bit to get back going.''
The main sticking point in the impasse that threatens the upcoming season is hockey-related revenue. Defenseman Barret Jackman said the percentages don't add up, yet he is hopeful there will be movement in negotiations as the deadline nears.
''We gave the league incentive to grow the business. Anything on top of what they've already done is their chunk of money,'' he said.
Because of the uncertainty, some players have delayed coming to St. Louis. Training camp is set to open Sept. 21.