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Flames sign Tanguay for three years

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

 

The Calgary Flames locked up a valuable asset for three seasons, signing restricted free agent Alex Tanguay to a new contract.

The contract pays him $5 million in the first year, and $5.375 million in the next two seasons.

Flames general manager-head coach Darryl Sutter added Wednesday that Tanguay will play centre next season.

"He is comfortable at left wing or center so it sets up well for us. The strength in our organization, with the young guys coming up, is at center," said Sutter.

The Flames also announced the signing of left wing Jeff Friesen to a one-year contract.

The Flames acquired Tanguay at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenceman Jordan Leopold, a 2006 second round pick, and a conditional second rounder in 2007 or 2008.

In 450 NHL games, Tanguay has scored 137 goals, 263 assists and 400 points. He is a +121 in his six seasons with Colorado.

Tanguay was eligible for salary arbitration this season and could have become an unrestricted free agent next season. However, after playing the last four years on one-year contracts, he was looking for a longer term deal, said Sutter. That suited the Flames, too.

"Ultimately, both sides wanted term," said Sutter.

Friesen is a player Sutter coached in San Jose and who finished last season in Anaheim. Friesen signed a one year deal for $1.6 million. Sutter and Friesen will be re-united as the pair spent time together in San Jose from 1997 to 2000. Friesen had his most productive season under Sutter in 1997, notcing 31 goals and and 63 points, both career-highs.

Friesen started the season in Washington, spent three months on the sidelines because of an injury, and then was shipped to Anaheim at the trade deadline.

"He had a tough year. I know the player. He is a good, all-around player. He plays both ends of the ice and he is a team guy. He is a good pro and a good fit on our team," said Sutter of Friesen.

Friesen, 29, played last season with the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals and 11 points in 51 games.

He has 11 NHL seasons under his belt with the Ducks, Capitals, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks, scoring 212 goals and 504 points in 821 games.

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