SUN Hockey Pool

Option play

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

Roman Turek has exercised the option on his contract but that doesn't mean a final decision has been made regarding his future with the Flames.

The goaltender, whose deal for the coming season is worth $1.14 million US after the 24% rollback, had until yesterday's deadline to continue his contract but hasn't made his decision regarding whether he'll be coming back.

He won't make a final resolution until after meeting with Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter, whose time has been taken up with all the start-up items involved with the sprint to the NHL season.

Turek, 35, has signed a deal with Ceske Budejovice but does have an out clause to return to the NHL.

His Flames contract, which still has two years and another option year left on it, also allows him the right to decide to opt out and return home.

TRIO SIGNED: Even Ryan Donally himself wasn't sure if the Flames would want him in the fold.

Coming off a pair of disappointing and injury-filled seasons, since being drafted in the third round, 97th overall, Donally didn't know if the club still felt he could be a NHL player.

The answer came when the strapping 6-ft. 4-in., 227-lb. left winger was signed to an entry-level, three-year deal just before yesterday's deadline for most 2003 draft picks.

"I was coming into this week with pretty low expectations," said Donally. "I felt I did pretty well at the camp there a month ago but my last couple of seasons were sub-par, to say the least"

Calgary also inked centre Tyler Johnson (sixth round, 173rd) and left winger Cam Cunning (8th round, 240th overall). Fourth-rounder Jamie Tardif, coming off a 37-goal season with Peterborough, was not signed. Nor was ninth-rounder Kevin Harvey.

First-rounder Dion Phaneuf signed before the lockout.

Last season, split between Windsor and Kitchener, Donally collected three goals and eight points in 60 games. He was limited by a knee injury that required surgery and a separated shoulder.

The 2003-04 season was shortened thanks to a concussion, a broken jaw and a bout with mononucleosis.

"It's been a rough little go," he said. "But I figure the bad luck has run it's course with me and hopefully the times will change."

Johnson collected 10 goals and 29 points with Red Deer, while Cunning potted 17 goals and 32 points during a season split between Kamloops and Vancouver.

All three will get a shot to play for the team's expansion AHL club in Omaha but could return for a final season in junior.

Cunning admitted tossing and turning the previous few nights but now he could pay for the celebration.

"They actually took me out last night," said the product of Powell River, B.C. "So now I owe them one. I owe them a few."

Calgary still holds the rights to second-round choice Tim Ramholt for two more years but they face an Aug. 15 deadline to sign the d-man from Switzerland.

ICE CHIPS: Defenceman Jordan Leopold was one of 39 players invited to the U.S. Olympic team's orientation camp, Sept. 5-8 in Colorado Springs, Colo.


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