A Calgary restaurant owner is furious after he says the Edmonton Oilers didn't cover a huge New Year's Eve tab.

Players with the team were dining at Osteria De Medici, an upscale family-run restaurant in the northwest community of Kensington, after their game against the Calgary Flames Thursday night.

Maurizio Terrigno says the team was ringing in 2010 with a group of 45 people and ran up a bill close to 18 thousand dollars.

But when it came time to pay, Terrigno says the players refused to pay the total amount.

He says the group, which included team captain Ethan Moreau, tried to negotiate a discount on their bill and at one point refused to pay entirely.

At issue was the liquor bill which totalled over eight thousand dollars.

The players argued they should pay by the bottle for dozens of shooters purchased during the party.

But the restaurant charged them for each one individually.

At one point, Terrigno threatened to call police and eventually, the players paid about 12 thousand dollars of the total bill.

Terrigno says it is more about principle than the money. The restaurant plans to donate the amount the players eventually paid to charity.

He says he is mainly upset for his staff who didn't receive a gratuity.

Osteria De Medici frequently hosts high profile guests.

Members of the Calgary Flames are regulars and former U-S president George Bush dined there on his last visit to Calgary.

The Edmonton Oilers are already in San Jose to play the Sharks Saturday night.

Friday afternoon, the owner says someone with the team contacted the restaurant and said the tab had been negotiated and paid.

But Terrigno says he never agreed to the reduced amount.

Team officials confirm with CTV that the players and their wives and girlfriends attended an event at the restaurant.

But when the bill came back, it was too high and the players asked staff to recalculate it.

The new total was given to them and officials say the players paid and left.

(with files from Sue French and CTV Edmonton's Bill Fortier)