Flames add some muscle

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:56 PM ET

A day later, Tim Jackman still couldn’t contain his excitement.

“Honestly, I feel like a little kid,” the newest Calgary Flames addition said.

The signings of Jackman and fellow winger Raitis Ivanans were officially announced Friday. Both inked two-year contracts, Ivanans’ worth US$1.15 million and Jackman’s worth US$1.1 million.

The deals were worked out in the early evening on Canada and officially signed Friday morning.

“It happened so fast. My agent called me and said, ‘You’re done. Two years. Calgary.’ I didn’t know Calgary was interested in me. I’m actually still in shock,” Jackman said from his off-season home in Minnesota.

The additions certainly add muscle to the Flames.

Ivanans, 31, started his career in Montreal and spent the last four season with the Los Angeles Kings. The 6-foot-4, 240-lb. product of Latvia has played 280 NHL games and chipped in a dozen goals and 18 points to go with 564 penalty minutes.

Ivanans’ addition spells the end in Calgary for last year’s enforcer Brian McGrattan.

“In our conference and look at the (Eastern Conference) teams we play in the crossover this year, there are nights you need (an enforcer),” GM Darryl Sutter said. “You need guys who understand it at a salary that works.”

Jackman has spent his share of time in the sin bin, too, having racked up 357 penalty minutes in 191 NHL games, along with 11 goals and 28 points.

However, the 28-year-old from North Dakota who was drafted in the second round by Columbus in 2001, is not simply a pugilist. The 6-foot-4, 210-lb. right winger has the ability to be a fourth-line energy player who can kill penalties.

Sutter said the club turned its attention to Jackman when it became obvious it couldn’t re-sign Jamal Mayers.

Last season with the New York Islanders, Jackman won the Bob Nystrom Award, for “leadership, hustle and dedication.”

Curiously, the first recipient of the Bob Nystrom Award was current Flames head coach Brent Sutter, who must have seen his share of Jackman in the two years he spent coaching the New Jersey Devils.

“He expects a lot from his players and plays hard. I know that,” Jackman said.

It was then pointed out coach Sutter is happy to reward hard workers.

“That’s exciting to know. You want to feel part of it.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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