SUN Hockey Pool

Legendary Langkow

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

Daymond Langkow is a legend everybody has heard of but nobody has actually seen around these parts.

"I wouldn't say a legend," laughed Langkow yesterday.

OK, a myth.

Either way, the perception of him is akin to Bigfoot or perhaps Ogopogo.

It's been nearly a full year since Calgary acquired the centre -- most people expect to see skating alongside superstar Jarome Iginla -- from the Phoenix Coyotes.

Thanks to the lockout, though, Langkow is yet to be witnessed in Flames silks.

Yesterday, he inked a three-year deal worth $7.5 million US and will suit up for the club this season.

Flames fans aren't the only ones looking forward to him hitting the Saddledome ice.

"I was pretty disappointed after getting traded there and then having a season that didn't start," Langkow said from his home in Edmonton. "I was really looking forward to playing there."

There's certainly reason for fans to look forward to the 28-year-old, originally chosen by Tampa fifth overall in 1995, wearing the Flaming C.

Langkow has scored at least 20 goals in each of the last three NHL seasons and netted 50 points in the last five. Being a left-handed shooting centre who has plenty of grit and a willingness to fight for the puck in the corners, Langkow would seem a perfect complement for Jarome Iginla, a linemate of his at the 1996 world junior tournament.

"It's definitely my hope," Langkow said of skating alongside Iggy. "We'll have to wait and see, though. They just signed a couple of guys who can play so I'm not sure where everyone will fit in."

By signing a three-year pact, Langkow sacrificed his opportunity to become an unrestricted free agent a year from now but he said inking a one-year deal to chase that rainbow at age 29 wasn't worth it compared to the opportunity he has now in the Stampede City.

"Did I think about a one-year deal? Not really. I want to be in Calgary and want to stay as long as I can," said Langkow, who also toiled with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Langkow, acquired from the Coyotes for Denis Gauthier and Oleg Saprykin, had a one-year deal worth $2.95 million US for last season.

Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said the negotiations for the deal were easy.

"It really wasn't that hard of a deal to negotiate," said Sutter. "He was really excited about coming here, we really wanted to lock him up long-term and with that there's give and take."

Sutter, however, wouldn't give Langkow that coveted slot at centre beside Iginla yet.

"I look at is as we have a number-one right winger in Jarome Iginla and after that we're pretty even," said Sutter. "That's really the best part about our team, we can move guys around. We have three new forwards who are pretty good players in Tony Amonte, Langkow and Darren McCarty, so where they play will be based on how they fit in."

CLARK DEALT: The news he'd been traded hit Chris Clark like a ton of bricks.

"Shocked. Surprised. All of those," said the right winger, dealt by the Flames to the Washington Capitals yesterday for a conditional draft choice. "I've never been in this situation, going through college where you're not traded and then being in the Flames organization all these years."

It will be tough for the 29-year-old to leave the team that drafted him in the third round in 1994 and a city where he and wife Kim, and children Hailie, 2, and Braiden, four months, had built a life.

"I love Calgary. We always thought that if we grew up in the west, we'd live there year-round," said Clark. "My wife is really upset because we're leaving all the friends we made in and outside of hockey."

ICE CHIPS: Calgary head coach/GM Darryl Sutter said he and Larry Kelly, agent for restricted free agent goalie Miikka Kiprusoff spoke yesterday and will talk again today in the quest to ink the netminder to a deal ... Former Flame Ville Nieminen signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers worth $700,00 per season.


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