Sutter plays waiting game

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

Expect a long-term contract extension for Flames star Jarome Iginla in the coming day or two but GM Darryl Sutter wouldn't confirm yesterday it's a done deal.

Pressed for a time frame to expect news of a deal, which sources have said for a week was all but signed, Sutter wouldn't say where the time frame for an announcement stands.

"It's days, weeks, months (away)," Sutter said. "He's under contract for next year, so it's days, weeks, months."

Calls to Iginla's agent Don Meehan, who had a busy day fielding offers for Ryan Smyth, weren't returned.

Reportedly, the Flames captain -- who turned 30 yesterday -- will sign a deal worth US$7 million per season for as many as five years.

He has one more year on his current contract which will pay him $7 million.

While such a new contract would not be a pay cut for Iginla, it's certainly less than what he'd receive on the open market if he decided to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Sutter confirmed he's working on extensions for Iginla, defenceman Robyn Regehr and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who are all due to become UFAs a year from now.

"We've made really good headway and we'll continue to work at it," he said.

"We're still working on the details ... There's a lot more to it than just money, so we'll get it worked out."

A deal for Kiprusoff will likely take longer, Sutter said, but not because of any acrimony.

"Miikka's in Finland and my preference is always to be able to talk to those guys," he said.

"You can make a lot of headway when everybody's in the same room. We'll make progress there, too, but that might be one that takes until Kipper's back here."

Sutter wouldn't divulge what the Flames were budgeting for their payroll this year with the salary cap rising to US$50.3 million but pointed out the team was in the top dozen last season and would be again.

"It's a number I don't talk to you guys about," he said.

There was also talk yesterday of a trade which would send Alex Tanguay to Florida for Olli Jokinen but Sutter quashed it emphatically.

"We're not interested in anything that has to with (a scenario) other than Alex being on our team. Make that very clear," he said.


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