Flames need to trim crowded blueline

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Training camp is just over a month away, and the Calgary Flames are carrying too many defencemen and are over the salary cap.

Something's gotta give.

The players know it, but weren't showing any worries. "As players, we don't concentrate too much on any of that stuff," said blueliner Steve Staios. "Right now, it's training and focusing on what you can do as an individual to get yourself prepared for next year."

Staios played for the Edmonton Oilers when they hosted an outdoor game in November 2003, and is looking forward to playing for the Flames this coming season.

However, with a US$2.7- million contract, he's a candidate to be moved.

So is Cory Sarich, whose salary hit is $3.6 million.

"It kind of reminds me a little bit of last year," Sarich said. "Whenever there's eight guys, nine guys, it adds extra competition, but there's not too many years I haven't gone into training camp there hasn't been a similar situation."

Sarich, Staios, Robyn Regehr, Jay Bouwmeester, Ian White, Mark Giordano, Adam Pardy and Staffan Kronwall all have one-way contracts which pay the same salary in Calgary as they do in the minors. As well, 2005 first-round draft choice Matt Pelech has to clear waivers to go to the minors.


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