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Iginla and Regehr sign five year extensions

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames
Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr have chosen Calgary.

The Calgary Flames announced today that the pair, considered to be a big part of the core of the team, have signed new, five-year deals that begin following the 2007-08 season. That means Iginla, the team captain, and Regehr, an assistant captain, chose not to test the unrestricted free agent market next summer.

"There are a lot of great hockey cities. For the fans and the passion, there isn't a city that beats Calgary," said Iginla, who turned 30 on July 1.

Regehr, who will marry fiance Christina in his home province of Saskatchewan later this month, agreed.

"Over time I have realized how fortunate I have been to play in Calgary," said Regehr.

Iginla  Video Highlights: 300K|700K
Regehr Video Highlights: 300K|700K

Playing in his 10th season with the Calgary Flames, Iginla led the team in goals (39) and points (94) despite playing in only 70 games due to a leg injury during the 2006-07 season. Iginla also appeared in all six playoff games against Detroit and registered two goals and two assists which tied for the team lead.

Flames captain since the start of the 2003 season, Iginla reached three major milestones during the 2006-07 season when he scored his 300th goal (Dec.7th), 300th assist (Dec.5th) and 600th point (Dec.7th). Iginla currently sits in the top five all time amongst Flames players in all offensive categories: 2nd in goals (324), 3rd in games played (778) and points (664), and 4th in assists (340).

Iginla said the direction the Flames are moving and the very tangible chance to win a Stanley Cup coupled with living in Calgary made the decision to sign a contract extension relatively easy.

"You have to think about free agency a little bit, to be honest. But when I talked to my wife (Kara), we have family that is close to Calgary, the city is great. But one of the biggest things is winning. Here, there is a chance to win and that's what you want. So, in the end, it wasn't even close. We're excited to be staying in Calgary," said Iginla.

"I haven't played anywhere else," continued Iginla. "I talked with guys like Tony Amonte who has played in other cities, some great cities, and Craig Conroy who came back to Calgary and they rank Calgary right up there. That goes a long way in helping to make these decisions.

"The excitement about hockey, you don't get that in every city. And, as a player, when you get older, you realize that it doesn't last forever. We want to win now."

A two time NHL All-Star, Iginla has twice won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s Top Scorer during the regular season (2002, 2004), the Lester B. Pearson Award as the NHL’s MVP as voted by the players (2002), the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s Top Point Scorer (2002), and the King Clancy Award for leadership qualities on and off the ice in his community (2004).

As a member of Team Canada, Iginla has won a World Junior Championship (1996), World Championship (1997), an Olympic gold medal (2002), and a World Cup of Hockey (2004). The native of St. Albert, AB, played three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL capturing two Memorial Cup Championships. He has twice been honored with the Ralph T. Scurfield Award, presently annually to the Flames player who has made an outstanding contribution to his team both on the ice and in the Calgary community.

Playing in his 7th season with the Calgary Flames, Regehr, the 27-year old rearguard played in 78 games, registering two goals and 19 assists for 21 points and 75 penalty minutes. Regehr led all Flames with a +27 rating during the 2006-07 season. In 510 career NHL games, the 6’3”, 225lbs Regehr has recoded 101 points while accumulating 512 penalty minutes.

Regehr was born in Recife, Brazil and spent the initial years of his childhood in that country before moving with his family to Rosthern, SK. He played three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL and was a first round draft choice, 19th overall, of the Colorado Avalanche in 1998. He was acquired by the Flames on February 28, 1999 in a trade involving Theoren Fleury.

Among his accomplishments, Regehr has represented Canada at the 1998 World Junior Championships, the 2000 and 2005 World Championships, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. He has received prestigious team honors including the J.R. Bud McCaig Award in 2006 and the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award in 2000.

Regehr, like Iginla, has only played in Calgary. He remembers the rebuilding years and echoes Iginla's sentiments about where the Flames are headed.

"It was pretty tough. It's always tough answering question when you are losing more games than you are winning," said Regehr. "I really like the direction of our team the last two years. I'm very happy. I like Calgary. My finace likes Calgary. This makes sense on a lot of levels."

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