June 29 2012 11:59AM
The Flames announced on Friday the re-signing of blueliner Cory Sarich to a 2-year deal with $2 million per year. The deal allows Sarich to avoid free agency, but also involved the veteran taking a bit of a financial haircut compared to his old, $3.6 million annual salary.
Speaking to the media on Friday morning, Sarich explained the logic behind re-signing before July 1.
“I'm really excited. Calgary's my home. I love it here. I love playing hockey here. I think home really sums it up. I'm really pumped to be able to stick around and be able to play in the red uniform again,” said Sarich.
According to the defender, the deal came together rather quickly.
“Jay called and everything worked out right,” said Sarich. “He called Tuesday and we got things done. Yesterday there were a few hiccups. I thought it was going to get done a little sooner than it did, but there were just a few words and things to figure out contract-wise but other than that it was a really easy process.”
Sarich explained that the two-year term was important due to the uncertainty regarding the impending CBA talks and the possibility of missing part of the regular season.
The 33-year-old Sarich (who turns 34 in August) has played 887 NHL games in stints with Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Calgary. A Stanley Cup winner in 2004, Sarich joined the Flames as a free agent during the summer of 2007. A healthy scratch early in the 2011-12 season, Sarich found his groove later in the year despite a recurring hip injury. Sarich explained that he's feeling “really good right now” physically but that work-outs designed to keep the hip strong are probably here to stay.
“I don't think it'll ever be gone completely, but even last year, it doesn't bother me to play. Actually, where I feel the best is on the ice. That's where I notice it the least,” shared Sarich.
The signing of Sarich seemingly fills the hole that Jay Feaster identified early in the week regarding the Flames needing a “time-and-space eliminating defender.” It also gives the Flames nine defenders on one-way contracts for the 2012-13 season, not including T.J. Brodie, who will likely be in the mix for a roster spot as well.
More roster moves seem likely as a result.