SUN Hockey Pool

Tanguay deal 'really close'

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Darryl Sutter is so close to signing Alex Tanguay long-term, he has already pencilled him in as Jarome Iginla's opening day centreman.

Answering two of the biggest questions being asked by Flames fans these days, Sutter told the Sun his extensive talks with Tanguay yesterday included discussion on moving from left wing to the middle.

"I'd like to see Alex and Jarome playing together and I don't have a problem with him playing centre," said Sutter.

"He's willing to do it. He's done it off and on since junior, so it's not a position he has to make a big adjustment on. He's more of a playmaker anyway. He had 49 assists last year and that puts him top-10 in the league."

Sutter has made it clear his No. 1 priority is signing Tanguay long- term to augment the Flames' sagging offence. Outside of making a pitch for free agent Jeremy Roenick yesterday, Sutter spent all day on the phone with Tanguay and his agent Bob Sauve.

"We're really close, actually," Sutter said. "This is where Alex wants to play and we're working for a long-term deal."

Sutter is looking at having to bump Tanguay to about $5 million annually if he is to avoid losing him to a one-year deal through arbitration that would take him to unrestricted free agency.

The Flames will likely open the season with a $40-million roster.


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