Despite being in the midst of a four-day break between games the Calgary Flames suffered a significant setback Monday night.

And the repercussions of it might ultimately lead to a major loss for the city. Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who has been part of a very public war of words with the Flames over the new arena stalemate, was re-elected for a third term late Monday.

Considered by the Flames to be the largest impediment between a potential deal for a new public/private arena to replace the aging Saddledome, Nenshi received 51.4 per cent of the vote in a hotly-contested race to continue governing Calgary for the next four years.

Challenger Bill Smith, who was ahead in several polls leading up to the vote based on a campaign essentially aimed at not being Nenshi, received 43.7 per cent of the vote.

The chances of the Flames five-man ownership group, spearheaded by fierce negotiator Murray Edwards, would choose to keep the team in Calgary longer than four years without an arena deal in place are slim. If an arena deal is to be made few have a clue how things can progress in any fashion now that the two heads of the warring factions – Nenshi and Flames president/CEO Ken King – are still in place.

The Flames chose to try making the arena deal an election issue last month when King declared on behalf of the owners the team was no longer pursuing a new facility. They took exception to the mayor’s election platform, which included a vision for an arena and entertainment district next to the Saddledome, suggesting the mayor was grandstanding while doing nothing to move along negotiations.