It's three year in the making but Anders Eriksson is happy to be united with Darryl Sutter.
Eriksson, who the Flames signed to a two-year, US$3-million contract Thursday, has been looking forward to playing for the Flames since joining the organization hours before the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season.
"We always talked about it, me and Darryl, but after the lockout he said he had no more room for me and last year he said I'd go there as a sixth/seventh defenceman," Eriksson said yesterday from his off-season home in Toronto. "Looking back, it was good for me to go to Columbus. I had a good season and got to show what I can do and the Flames saw it, too."
Eriksson gives the Flames a solid rearguard to round out their blueline brigade. In a perfect world, the 32-year-old from Sweden will play on the third pairing with Rhett Warrener.
But the 6-ft.-2, 220-lb. defenceman is capable of stepping up and logging bigger minutes in a pinch should injuries to the top four occur.
The length of the deal is a boon for Eriksson, who's bounced around the last few years.
A first-round draft choice of Detroit -- he was part of the '98 Stanley Cup team -- he's spent the last five years with a level of uncertainty and played much of 2005-06 in Russia .
"The money's great but the best part is that the Flames wanted me and wanted me for two years, so that feels really good," Eriksson said.
SENS PROMOTE PADDOCK
Bryan Murray didn't have to look far to find his successor as head coach of the Ottawa Senators.
Murray promoted Senators assistant John Paddock to the head job yesterday, filling the vacancy created when Murray took over as GM after John Muckler was fired June 18. Paddock, 53, was Murray's assistant the past two seasons.