Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kipper cashes in

The Calgary Flames knocked off one more name on their list of franchise type players to secure to a long term deal. The latest move sends their fans and their league partners a signal that they plan on keeping a core group in Calgary for a good number of years.

Monday the Flames signed goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff to a six year 36 million dollar deal, which will keep him guarding the Flames net through to 2014 and for what the Flames no doubt hope are the best years of his career.

The massive contract reportedly pays the bulk of the money through the first five years of the deal, 6.7 a year, with year six dropping him down to 1.5 million. The deal is quite a step up from his current payday of 3.6 million a season.

Keeping Kiprusoff in the Flames fold solidifies another key member of the franchise. It follows recent signings of Jerome Iginla who agreed to a five year 35 million deal and Robyn Regehr who will try and get by on 20 million over five years.

There remain a few other members of the Flames coming up for free agency, the most notable name to watch being that of Dion Phaneuf, who will become a Group Two free agent on July 1st. Serving out the final year of his entry contract, Phaneuf will be looking for a significant increase from his current bargain basement rate of pay of $785,333.

There's still time to work out the details on that one, but if the recent financial workings of Darryl Sutter are any indication, it probably won't be too hard to get people to sign on the dotted line in Calgary.

The reviews are coming in and the consensus seems to be that Sutter has certainly got the task at hand figured out, he's secured some high profile talent at some pretty decent pricing for the Flames, leaving them a bit of room to work with to tweak the roster should the time arrive.

With players showing their dedication to the Flames (for a solid reward) and a surprisingly (for some) calm and businesslike atmosphere with their new coach Mike Keenan, all seems rather good in Calgary these days.

The Flames may very well be one of the teams to watch as this season unfolds, happy campers at the bank making, for a rewarding season on the ice.
Canadian Press-- Flames re-sign Kiprusoff
TSN------------- Flames, Kiprusoff agree to six-year deal

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