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Flames sign D Sarich to 5-year deal

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Cory Sarich signed a five-year, $18 million contract with the Flames on Sunday, the first day of free agency.

The 28-year-old defenseman spent the past seven seasons with Tampa Bay, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2004 against Calgary. He has played in all 82 regular-season games in each of the past four seasons.

Signing Sarich addressed the most pressing need for Flames general manger Darryl Sutter after Roman Hamrlik and Brad Stuart became free agents Sunday. Sutter was looking for a player capable of partnering with either Robyn Regehr or Dion Phaneuf.

Now he can focus on trying to sign Regehr and captain Jarome Iginla to extensions. Both players are due to become free agents in a year.

"I think we're still working on the details of both of them," Sutter said Sunday. "There's a lot more to it than just money. We'll get it worked out."

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