Roman Turek has put a pen to paper on a contract in his homeland but his agent said that doesn't mean the Flames netminder won't return to Calgary.
Ritch Winter said reports are true Turek signed a two-year deal with HC Ceske Budejovice but said the goalie hasn't made a final decision on staying there when the NHL returns to life.
Winter said his deal with the Czech team has a clause that allows Turek to return to North America once the NHL comes to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement with its players.
"Roman will not make a final decision without a long discussion with the Flames. He's made no final decision but his plan is to allow him to stabilize his future," Winter said yesterday. "I have an idea what he'll do but I'm not going to share that."
Turek reworked his contract with the Flames last summer, inking a new pact that essentially was a series of one-year deals. His 2004-05 deal called for a $1-million US salary.
Including the 24% rollback expected to be applied to existing deals when a new CBA is announced, his salary bounces to $1.14 million, $950,000 and a final option-year season worth $4.37 million -- kicked in only by reaching certain triggers or at the team's discretion.
During the 2003-04 NHL season, Turek posted a 6-11-0 record, with a 2.33 average and .914 save percentage. Over his last seven games, he had a 1.43 average and back-to-back shutout wins over Phoenix and St. Louis.
Turek has the option after every season to opt out of the rest of the deal and return to the Czech Republic but Winter said his client hasn't done that, despite reports he has.
According to the Associated Press, HC Ceske Budejovice president Jaroslav David said Turek cancelled his contract with the Flames in April.
Winters pointed out the goaltender, who was traded to Calgary from St. Louis in 2001, hasn't sold his home here.
"If Roman Turek told me today, 'I'm not coming back' or 'I'm for certain coming back,' I've learned to take those statements with a grain of salt," Winter said. "I know a goaltender that's retired three times and now wants to play three more years."
FLICKERS: Scott Allen, who served as an assistant coach last year with the Lowell Lock Monsters, will assume the same post for the AHL expansion Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, it was announced yesterday.
Allen, who'll enter his 10th year of coaching, had previously used the whistle with Johnstown (ECHL) and San Antonio (AHL).
The Knights, top farm team of the Flames, are yet to name a head coach.
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ICE CHIPS: The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have offered head coach Mike Babcock a one-year contract and Babcock has until next week to make a decision ... The Florida Panthers sold their interest in the San Antonio Rampage, a franchise that will become the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Spurs Sports and Entertainment in San Antonio obtained full ownership of the Rampage, who signed a multiyear affiliation deal with the Coyotes.