Kipper could be next

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

The offensive catalyst is in place.

Could it be the brick wall between the pipes is close behind?

Now that Jarome Iginla has been signed to a three-year, $21-million US deal, the biggest eyes on the Flames -- as well as attention from GM/head coach Darryl Sutter -- will turn to restricted free agent netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

His agent, Larry Kelly, said talks are ongoing but wouldn't divulge any more.

"Darryl called the other day and said he wanted to revisit our discussions (from last week) and we're going to try to do that (today) or Friday," Kelly said.

Kiprusoff, coming off his amazing 2003-04 season, received a $2.95 million US deal through arbitration a year ago. That deal, worth $2.242 million US with the 24% rollback, expired with the lost season.

The netminder is currently a restricted free agent but could become unrestricted next summer.

Sutter said no snags are in the way.

"We're continuing to talk and it's been very positive and productive," he said.

Sutter was allowed to scratch one RFA off his list, inking defenceman Jordan Leopold to a two-year deal worth $2.3 million US.

Though the end result appears to have come quickly, Leopold's agent, former Flame Neil Sheehy, relayed it didn't start well.

"Darryl hung up on me during our initial discussion," Sheehy said with a laugh. "But then we sat down in Ottawa at the draft and talked for three hours productively, covering Jordan extensively and what the team is trying to do. We had a pretty good understanding then."

Remaining restricted free agents are defencemen Rhett Warrener and Andrew Ference, forwards Daymond Langkow, Steve Reinprecht, Chuck Kobasew, Chris Clark and Matthew Lombardi.

Forward Lynn Loyns and 2000 first-round draft choice goalie Brent Krahn also need deals. The club is also looking to sign a handful of draft picks, among them 2002 first-round draft choice Eric Nystrom, Brandon Prust and Adam Pardy.

Then there's the status of veteran goalie Roman Turek. Turek has yet let Sutter know whether he'll return for the NHL season or remain in the Czech Republic.

"We'll know by Monday," Sutter said.


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