Dion's rep ready to talk

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Hockey agent Don Meehan has heard all the astronomical numbers.

And he's heard the rumours he and client Dion Phaneuf have rejected those sky-high offers -- one report being a US$30-million, six-year pact.

Only one problem, said Meehan yesterday -- there hasn't been a contract offer from the Calgary Flames and GM Darryl Sutter for the rising star defenceman.

"I guess some of your friends must be making these things up," Meehan said yesterday at the Saddledome.

"There's no truth to that whatsoever. We haven't exchanged any formal offers at all to date.

"It's more people making guesses, really. We really have only had general discussions in the latter part of the year, and we were more or less taking about the Flames' situation, their objectives, their goals, what the ownership ambition is, Darryl's situation with the salary cap.

"We had general discussions about all those issues and this is the time when we get much more detailed, much more specific. So I really don't know where these numbers come from because we haven't had any serious discussion about numbers.

"It think it's fairly imminent we'll be doing that fairly soon."

Meehan said he planned to meet with Sutter and Flames president Ken King last night and expects to make progress the next few days.

"We'll probably resume those discussions on a fairly consistent basis," he said.

Phaneuf, 22, is due to be a restricted free agent July 1.

The third-year pro, who went into last night's clash with the Coyotes with six goals and 29 points, would certainly be a hot commodity should he not sign a new deal.

It's almost a sure bet some other team would come calling with an offer sheet, in the way the Edmonton Oilers chased and inked Dustin Penner last summer as well as made an unsuccessful push for Buffalo's Thomas Vanek.

Meehan can pull double duty with Sutter these days. He also represents Kristian Huselius, the high-scoring left-winger (20 goals and 47 points before last night) who's due to become a UFA.

Phaneuf's next pact will certainly cause ripples through the league, but Meehan said he said the urgency from both sides hasn't hit high gear.

"I don't think there's a time table," he said. "What we have a consensus on that he's very happy here and wants to stay here, and the organization and ownership really want him. That we're all consistent with, and that's what we're going to work towards.

"They've got issues from their end. There's always moving parts from the system we have -- the cap system -- and they're both under different classifications under the CBA, one is Group 2 and one is unrestricted. So there's different priorities in that respect but there isn't any set time or any set pattern in how you work to both, not at all."

One template for a Phaneuf contract could be the 12-year deal signed by Philadelphia's young star Mike Richards, which is worth US$69 million, although Meehan said those extensively long contracts aren't going to be the all that common.

"We had lots of discussions in the office about that deal," he said. "(Flyers GM) Paul Holmgren and our office had discussions that varied from a longer term deal to a shorter term deal, and you can't really say there's any theme or consistent theme to do a longer-term deal as opposed to the more conventional deals. That really depends on the personal circumstances."

One thing that should ease the fears of Flames fans is Meehan's history with Sutter. They negotiated Jarome Iginla's US$35-million, five-year deal that kicks in next season, without acrimony.

"He's very forthcoming," Meehan said. "If he has a plan, he shares the plan with you so you can understand and appreciate where the organization is going."


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