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Fist pumping for two more years

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- It looks like Henrik Karlsson won't be in search of a new nickname next season.

The man dubbed The Calgary Tower came to terms with the Flames on Monday, signing a two-year deal worth $850,000 and $875,000 respectively.

"Big Hank will be back with us and we're excited about that," general manager Jay Feaster said. "(We went) back and forth a couple of times and we talked about a one-year deal, we talked about a two-year deal. At the end, we decided the two-year deal made sense."

The 27 year-old proved himself to be a capable caddy for Miikka Kiprusoff last season, posting a 2.58 GAA and a .908 save percentage through 17 games played.

Head coach Brent Sutter was so impressed with Karlsson's development that he believes the Swede will be a number one goaltender in the near future.

"It's one of the things that I know Brent has already discussed with Clint Malarchuk, our new goalie coach, and has made the point with Clint that he really is close," Feaster noted. "He still has some things he has to work on in his game but we believe that he does have that potentional to be a number one."

That being said, Feaster still wants to encourage healthy competition among the club's goaltending prospects, specifically Leland Irving. The Flames have sent the restricted free agent a qualifying offer and want him to come into training camp ready to compete for the role of backup goaltender.

"Certainly there will be an opportunity for Leland in camp. It's not a case of saying the job is being given to Hank. Certainly I think the contract we've signed Hank to is one that is a very fair reflection of the market so if we decide in fact that Leland takes the job then we'd have to look at doing some other things.

"It doesn't preclude anything with Leland. It's just a recognition that based on what he did last year and where we feel Karlsson is, we wanted to get Karlsson wrapped up."

Now that he has inked Karlsson to a deal, Feaster's next task to trying to come to terms with potential UFA Alex Tanguay. The winger had an outstanding season in Calgary and the organization would love to see him back in a Flames jersey this fall.

"I'd like to think we can (re-sign him) but we're not where we need to be and there's still a lot of work to be done," Feaster explained. "We'll see where it goes but I think the fact we're talking is a good thing."

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