SUN Hockey Pool

Sutter mum on qualifying

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

An NHL deadline quietly passed yesterday without so much as a peep from the Calgary Flames.

While it's a sure bet Matthew Lombardi and new addition Alex Tanguay -- both restricted free agents -- were given qualifying offers in order to retain their rights, the club will choose to wait until long-term contracts are hammered out to let its fans in on the excitement.

And, thanks to Tanguay's addition on draft day, off-season excitement in Cowtown is probably at its highest point since the Flames' run to the Stanley Cup final two years ago.

Lombardi's qualifying cost is thought to be about $500,000 US, while Tanguay required a more hefty $3.23-million offer to complete the trade that brought the Quebec product to Calgary for defenceman Jordan Leopold and a pair of second-round draft picks.

Carsen Germyn, who played last season with the AHL's Omaha Knights, is the only other restricted free agent in the Flames' fold.

Sources have suggested Tanguay was looking for a long-term deal in Colorado worth $5 million a year, which helped the Avs with their decision to deal the 26-year-old left-winger. If Tanguay plays out the season without inking an extension, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

With the NHL's free-agency period set to begin Saturday, a half-dozen other Flames are waiting to find out whether they will be on the open market this weekend.

Popular veterans Chris Simon and Shean Donovan and in-season additions Mike Leclerc, Brian Boucher and Cale Hulse await their fate along with part-timer Craig MacDonald.


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