There were a couple hundred people in the stands waiting.

The fans cheered when the first wave of Calgary Flmaes players hit the Saddledome ice.

The next applause happened when top prospect Sven Baertschi emerged from the tunnel.

Then came more when the likes of Miikka Kiprusoff and Alex Tanguay made their presence felt.

Yep, the Flames were back, and Day 1 of training camp was mostly high-times.

"It almost felt like a big game day," said Flames head coach Bob Hartley. "This is great."

The news wasn't all great, though.

Flames captain Jarome Iginla didn't skate due to a groin issue — "tightness" he said happened Tuesday when he tried to ramp up his skating.

"I would love to be out there with them, but hopefully, it's one more day — day-to-day and never look back," said Iginla, who went through a worse situation at last year's camp with a back issue.

The Flames opened camp Sunday with 32 players and must be at a 23-man roster by Friday.

Newcomer Roman Cervenka won't be on the ice for a spell. He will need to see a specialist in regards to the blood clot-issues caused more than a month ago while playing in the KHL.

Flames GM Jay Feaster reported Cervenka no longer has a blood clot in his leg, but the team wants him to receive the all-clear after being on blood thinners. He won't be in action until there's no extra risk if he's cut or bruised.

As well, defenceman Anton Babchuk, who played in KHL during the lockout, has a shoulder injury which is expected to keep him out three weeks.

Still, when the nearly two-hour session ended, the fans cheered — and the players gave them a salute.