Only one major question remains as Darryl Sutter tries locking up his key players long term:
Will the Calgary Flames have enough money left to ink Miikka Kiprusoff?
You bet they will.
The question is does the Flames netminder want to stay in a hockey hotbed or chase bigger dollars in a city in which the quiet Finn can fly under the radar?
We'll find out late this summer when the two sides meet face-to-face.
A wildcard in all this is the fact Sutter has assembled a brilliant array of top young goalie prospects, which means he may not have to sell the farm to keep Kiprusoff in town past this year.
That said, he'd be willing to. Having a top goaltender is that important.
Now more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering if the IOC's more liberal approach to accepting new sports means we'll see ballroom dancing in London 2012.
AROUND THE HORN: Word amongst insiders is that Darryl Sutter had this to say when Roman Hamrlik told him he wanted $25 million over five years: "Go buy a lottery ticket." ... In what would have been the juiciest free agent move in decades, Ryan Smyth opted not to sign with Calgary despite putting the Flames on a short list of desirable destinations. This despite the fact Jarome Iginla called the former Oilers star to sell him on playing in southern Alberta ... Separated at birth: Tennis star Andy Roddick and Scott Stifler of American Pie fame. The irony is that Stifler (Seann William Scott) is the star of a sports movie coming out next year called Gary The Tennis Coach with Randy Quaid ... Not that wrestling has any business being in a sports column, but those who compared the death of Owen Hart in any way to the self-destruction of Chris Benoit have lost sight of reality almost as much as the roid-infected murderer did ... Just wondering: Why doesn't anyone talk about extending the contract of Daymond Langkow past next year? After all, he is the Flames top centreman and arguably the team's most consistent forward.
PARTING GIFTS: After a recent mini-camp, QB Jeff Garcia has officially been declared the opening day starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Chris Simms ... Former Flames GM Craig Button has left his post as head pro scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Button's contract expired July 1, and he wants to get back into management ... Those of you who have ignored tennis since players ditched wooden racquets may want to start watching the sport again now that Roger Federer has found a brilliant rival in Rafael Nadal ... That said, the best rivalry in athletics today: Hot dog legend Takeru Kobayashi and new Nathan's champ Joey Chestnut ... This from thefourthperiod.com's Greg Wyshynski: "Pretty much the only way things could get any worse for Buffalo fans is if the Sabres decided to fill the void left by Chris Drury (and Daniel Briere) by signing Scott Norwood" ... To all the frustrated Oilers fans who took the time to write in about the two directions the Flames and Oilers are heading, you're right -- everything is just peachy up north. Things couldn't be better. My bad.