Reinprecht inks deal

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

The shoulder feels perfect and he has a new contract in hand.

Life is good for Steve Reinprecht, right?

"Everything's good," said Reinprecht before adding: "Everything, except my golf game really."

OK, that 90 on yesterday's scorecard aside, all's well for the Flames forward, whose one-year deal -- he accepted his qualifying offer of $1.444 million US -- was announced yesterday.

Naturally, the question is: What took so long?

"Actually, I signed it as soon as I got it. It's just my agent (Steve Bartlett) took his time faxing it over," said the centre/left winger. "It looks like there was a bit of a delay but there wasn't."

If all goes well for the 6-ft. 191-lb. Edmonton product, there won't be any more delays showing Flames fans what he's capable of doing. After all, his first season with the Flames wasn't the kind he was hoping for.

Acquired from Buffalo in a trade with Rhett Warrener for Chris Drury and Steve Begin, he arrived to Calgary in the fall of 2003 looking for a breakout season.

However, coming off a shoulder operation that summer, he suffered another shoulder injury in his first pre-season game -- a fracture and torn ligament suffered when he crashed into the boards -- but played through it. He was also sidelined for 17 games due to a broken ankle. He played 44 injury-filled games, collecting seven goals and 22 assists but shut it down for much-needed surgery a month before the playoffs began.

That injury-plagued campaign is the reason he opted to take the qualifying offer instead of lobbying for a long-term deal.

"The way my last season went, there wasn't much to go from for a longer deal," said Reinprecht, who could become an unrestricted free agent next summer. "I just want to come in to a new season, stay healthy and have a good year."

Reinprecht spent the lockout testing that wing by playing in France, where he scored 20 goals and 27 assists in 22 games en route to leading Mulhouse to the league title.

It's a taste of what he hopes to provide Flames fans, especially those who see him as brittle.

"I want to have a real good season, play my game and play hard. Right from the first time I went on the ice, I had tough time," he said. "But I've never had a year like that, so I want to get back to how I can play and take it from there."

Restricted free agents left for the Flames to sign are starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, Philippe Sauve, Brent Krahn, Rhett Warrener, Chuck Kobasew, Matthew Lombardi and Lynn Loyns.

Kiprusoff's agent, Larry Kelly, had more discussions with Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter yesterday.

"Today, I feel confident we'll get something done," Kelly reported.

ICE CHIPS: The club announced a handful of other signings: 2001 seventh-round draft choice, LW David Moss, who had 10 goals and 20 assists last year at Michigan, D Zenith Komarniski, enforcer Brantt Myhres, Craig MacDonald and Cam Severson.


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