Iggy talk of the town

Jarome Iginla's agent has been talking with Flames GM Darryl Sutter about a contract extension....

Jarome Iginla's agent has been talking with Flames GM Darryl Sutter about a contract extension. (Sun File/Jim Wells)

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

A Ryan Smyth scenario doesn't appear likely for Jarome Iginla.

Post-draft rumblings point to a contract extension being all but a formality for the Calgary Flames captain.

Player agent Don Meehan confirmed yesterday he has been talking with Flames general manager Darryl Sutter about locking his client up for at least another season, which would prevent Iginla from becoming an unrestricted free agent a year from now on his 31st birthday.

He turns 30 Sunday on Canada Day -- the first day possible to sign extensions for players due to become UFAs next summer.

"Well, we're talking with Darryl," Meehan said yesterday over the phone. "And I think we're going to talk a little bit more after the July 1st deadline, which is the focus, I think, of everybody's activity in the league."

Iginla said following the Flames' playoff exit he'd like to be in Calgary long-term but would also consider a shorter contract if that's what the team had in mind.

Meehan also represents former Edmonton Oiler Ryan Smyth. It's been speculated Smyth will hit the open market this weekend and that the Flames are interested but Meehan isn't giving anything away.

"I'm having discussions with New York this week," he said of the Islanders, who desperately want to keep Smyth in the fold after acquiring him from the Oilers at the trade deadline. "So I'm not sure."

After having his heart broken in last-minute negotiations with Oilers GM Kevin Lowe that resulted in the trade to Long Island, Smyth would be smart to seek out a big paycheque from a city he wants to call home for a few years. A return to his home province of Alberta isn't out of the question but the Flames likely can't outbid anyone without shedding salary first.

There's also the blueline budget to consider.

Even after bringing aboard Adrian Aucoin's $4-million salary, the Flames can afford another free-agent defender at a similar price but two of their own pending UFAs -- Roman Hamrlik and Brad Stuart -- probably won't be back.

Stuart's agent Pat Brisson said yesterday they're not ruling out a return to Calgary and talks continue with Sutter.

However, a young and talented two-way defenceman such as Stuart can point to the much older Kimmo Timonen's massive deal from Philadelphia as proof he's worth in the neighbourhood of $6M a season, while Hamrlik may have to decide whether his fondness for Calgary outweighs the dollars he may command elsewhere.

That's assuming his agent, Petr Svoboda, hears from Sutter again before Sunday.

"I talked to Sutter about, I would say, two weeks ago. He showed some interest to get Roman back," Svoboda said yesterday. "I have not heard from him since.

"I don't know where their mind is about Roman."

He said Sutter was intent on mapping out the team's budget before reopening talks but the acquisition of Aucoin has Svoboda curious. He admits the market has changed since Hamrlik inked his last deal worth $3.5M a year. Svoboda isn't closing the door on a return.

"He loves Calgary. He's enjoyed his time there," Svoboda said of Hamrlik. "There's still a few days left."


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