SUN Hockey Pool

Some Flames gone for good

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:32 AM ET

About to carry his equipment out of the Saddledome, Shean Donovan knew it might have been for the last time.

A pending unrestricted free agent, Donovan had his greatest success as a Calgary Flame, both personally and as part of a team.

Donovan can't say, though, whether he'll be back again for another season or more.

"I don't know. I don't think it's up to me," he said yesterday. "We'll have to see. I like Calgary a lot, for sure.

"It would be fun to be back. Darryl's the one to decide."

Darryl, being Flames GM/head coach Sutter, has a few decisions to make regarding his crop of potential unrestricted free agents.

Unless signed by July 1, forwards Donovan, Stephane Yelle, Mike Leclerc and Craig MacDonald, defencemen Bryan Marchment and Cale Hulse and goaltender Brian Boucher will all be on the open market.

Don't expect to see many back. Yelle is a true Sutter player but the rest were mainly used as depth players in the post-season.

Sutter wouldn't discuss the status of free agents.

Chris Simon may also become a free agent if the team doesn't pick up his option year worth $1.216 million US.

Like the rest, the hulking winger who rebounded down the stretch from a slow first half, wants to stay.

"I enjoy this team, this organization and this city so much," Simon said. "We've got a lot to prove. I do, and the team."

Hulse was cleared for contact from his separated shoulder the day of Calgary's Game 7 elimination. He wants to come back since his hometown return hardly went as planned.

"It's too bad getting hurt and how everything ended up but I would love to be back," said Hulse, whose most pressing issue was to get to Phoenix to see his son, Hudson, born last month. "This is where I've lived most of my life and started my career. It meant a lot for me to be here."

The list of potential restricted free agents is shorter. Chuck Kobasew, Matthew Lombardi and Kristian Huselius are expected to remain in the fold.


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