SUN Hockey Pool

Langkow hasn't put ink to paper

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

Wait, wasn't that deal for Daymond Langkow done and put to bed?

That was the word around the World Wide Web more than three weeks ago.

You mean you can't believe everything you read on the Internet?

"Definitely not," said Langkow's agent, Nathan Zaseybida, yesterday.

However, don't think a new contract for the Calgary Flames' top centre isn't slowly working its way to completion.

Zaseybida doesn't envision the deal -- reportedly a US$20-million, four-year pact -- falling apart.

"We wouldn't have gotten this far," he said. "I'm confident things will get done.

"But until it's done, until it's registered, it's not done."

Langkow, who collected 30 goals and 35 assists in the regular season and five points (3-2-5) in the seven playoff games, is one of 11 players on the season-end roster due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Also on that list are fellow forwards Kristian Huselius, Craig Conroy, Owen Nolan, Stephane Yelle, Eric Nystrom, Eric Godard and Mark Smith, defencemen David Hale and Jim Vandermeer and goalie Curtis Joseph.

Langkow's deal will likely be the biggest inked by the Flames this summer.

Zaseybida said he and Flames GM Darryl Sutter haven't talked for a few weeks -- with the playoffs and then assessment period that happens when the campaign is over, that's no surprise -- but isn't concerned.

"They're probably ironing out some details. I'm sure they're trying to figure out what they want to achieve," he said.

That was the same feeling of Wade Arnott, who represents Nystrom.

The rookie left winger chosen in the first round, 10th overall, in the 2002 draft is a young potential UFA -- Group 6 -- being aged 25 or older, played three or more seasons, and fewer than 80 NHL games.

"(No negotiations) recently, but I'm expecting to hear from (Sutter) soon," Arnott said. "There's a lot of time to work something out, and as you know in the NHL things can happen quickly.

"I know he indicated late in the regular season the Flames would like Eric to stay in Calgary."

Nystrom, 25, collected three goals and seven assists in 44 regular-season games and skated in all seven playoff contests.

Goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who spent half the season on the Calgary roster, is also a potential Group 6 UFA, having played fewer than 28 games in his first three pro seasons.

Nystrom lost most of the 2006-07 season due to shoulder injury.

The easy assumption would be the left winger wants to wait until July 1 to see what awaits by going on the market, maybe even follow his father's footsteps and play for the New York Islanders, but Arnott said a deal could be done before the deadline.

"The trend has been those unrestricted free agents signed this season, and if you look at the list of Group 3 unrestricted free agents now, it's not as deep as expected," he said. "If you have a good team, a good situation and you get fair market value, often the player says, 'Why leave?' "

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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