Fellow Flames fired up

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

How much money the Calgary Flames will have to lure free agents next season remains to be seen.

Rest assured there will be plenty of players out there wanting to be part of the team, with it's talented core locked up for a significant number of years.

"I want to win, and to know those type of players will be on your team for that many years, absolutely I'd want to be there," said veteran right-winger Owen Nolan. "It shows the organization is committed to winning.

"It's nice to know you're with an organization that wants to win instead of just trying to fill seats and make money."

With Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr signed to five-year extensions that kick in next season, and Miikka Kiprusoff and Dion Phaneuf inked for six years -- Phaneuf's announced yesterday -- the Flames are arguably the best positioned team in the NHL.

Those in the dressing room appreciate it, too.

"I think it makes it more attractive," Regehr said. "The most important thing as a player is we like to keep as many of the same faces around, so we can improve the team and eventually win a championship here. I think that's going to help us."

Phaneuf is the latest to sign a long-term deal -- US$39 million, six-year pact -- a day after a two-goal performance that sparked the club to a 4-3 comeback victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

"It's huge," said Craig Conroy.

"I remember at the end of last year, people were saying, 'You're not going to sign Kipper, Iggy and Reggie' and now you have all three of those guys plus Dion. That's pretty big."

Head coach Mike Keenan firmly believes Phaneuf has the potential to be a Norris Trophy winner.

"You see how he played (Tuesday) night and forget he's 22," Keenan said. "He's got a bright future ahead of him."


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