CALGARY (Reuters) - Calgary Flames signed captain Jarome Iginla and defenseman Robyn Regehr to lucrative, five-year contract extensions on Wednesday.
Signing Iginla, twice an All-Star and twice winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer, was considered a priority for the Flames.
Iginla, who had one year remaining on his contract and could have become an unrestricted free agent next season, will average $7 million a season on the new deal, according to reports.
A member of Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics, Iginla led the Flames in goals (34) and points (94) last season despite playing in only 70 games because of a leg injury.
In 10 NHL seasons, all with the Flames, the bruising power forward has amassed 324 goals and 664 points.
”You have to think about free agency a little bit, to be honest,“ Iginla said on the team’s Web site (www.flames.nhl.com). ”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.
“The excitement about hockey, you don’t get that in every city. As a player, when you get older, you realize that it doesn’t last forever. We want to win now.”
Regehr, who was born in Recife, Brazil, has also spent his entire seven-year career in Flames uniform.
A stay-at-home defenseman considered one of the best at taking care of business in his own end of the rink, Regehr had just two goals and 19 assists last season but led all Flames with plus-27 rating during the regular season.
A Flames co-captain and member of Canada’s 2006 Olympic squad, Regehr’s five-year extension is worth a reported $20 million.