SUN Hockey Pool

Langkow's 'done deal' sitting on backburner

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

Concern seems to be building in some media circles over the status of Calgary Flames centre Daymond Langkow.

The 31-year-old pivot is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but Flames general manager Darryl Sutter has no worry of that happening.

"All of your reports are about half correct," Sutter told the assembled media gathering as he set the stage for this weekend's NHL draft before being asked for an update on Langkow.

"I don't know what the update would be on Langkow other than we do -- Daymond and I -- have an agreement. Everything else other people are reporting is wrong."

Since Sutter told the masses this past winter some sort of deal has been reached to bring the team's top middle man back to Calgary, locals have grown restless wondering when the deal will be signed, sealed and delivered.

Everyone knows how quickly things can change until that piece of paper is filed with the NHL office.

A very real possibility exists that a deal has been penned and Sutter is just waiting until the salary cap is set for next season before he announces it.

Langkow's pay may even be linked to that final cap number, which is rumoured to have a ceiling of about $56 million.

If the figures bandied about online and in print are right, Langkow will make $5 million a season under the new terms.

However it plays out, don't be surprised if nothing is announced until after July 1, at which point teams can be 10% over the cap during the summer months to work with their rosters.

Sutter isn't one to tip his hand or speculate when it comes to business matters, so a betting man would believe it when he says he expects Langkow to remain a Flame.

"I'm a pretty honourable guy," said Sutter about their current agreement. "And I think he is, too."

Heading into the draft -- which starts Friday night and ends Saturday afternoon in Ottawa -- Sutter has likely made many decisions about what next year's roster will look like.

Kristian Huselius will walk, and if Alex Tanguay is truly as unhappy as he seemed at times with the way he was used, he could be dangled during the draft -- although it would take a strong return to allow him to leave.

Whether or not Sutter will buy out any of the team's current contracts will have to wait until after the weekend's events, though.

The buyout period began Sunday and ends June 30.

"We're not going to even think about it 'till next week," said Sutter. "We're a team that hasn't done it yet, or a team that's had a major-league salary in the American Hockey League.

"We'll deal with that after this week."


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