A look inside the Cory Sarich extension


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.

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“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.

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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.

  • Robert Cleave

    He called Tuesday and we got things done.

    Call me a cynic, but given that timeline, my suspicion is that once the Flames knew they were likely out of the Schultz sweepstakes, Sarich was part of Plan B.

  • supra steve

    You know, I can live with having Cory back. But, 2 years at 2million per seems a year to long and $500,000 to $1million to much for a year of his services at this point. Even 1 year at 2million might be OK, but 2 years? I see this as an error by Flames management.

  • Michael

    I just don’t see how Babchuk and Wilson fit into anything going into next season.

    The only thing that really really scares me was listening to Kerr and Walker this morning talking about Smith. They were both of the agreement that before he got hurt he was one of the top 2 or 3 defenders on the Flames before he got hurt. So does Feaster share that opinion, is that why Bouwmeester might be on the way out????

  • My guess is Feaster was judging Sarich versus the remainder of the UFA class and deciding if it was smarter to pay for Sarich or over-pay for one of the others.

    But this is effectively two moves to fill two identified holes.

    Top six forward is probably next.

  • Flamin Cannot's

    Time and space eliminator? How can you be that when your a #5 dman at best? argh. This is a bad signing. Dude spent like half the season in the press box?

  • Flamin Cannot's

    @Ryan Pike

    Agreed, holes have been filled, how well and to what extent can be debated. But Wideman and Sarich both feel holes/need on the back end and its not the wosrt thing.

    I’m just curious to see whats happening to Carson, Wilson and Babchuk, maybe package the lot to edmonton or something, they did pick up Barker last year so you never know.

    • jesc23

      as weird and unfortunate as things are getting in Flamesland these days, I SERIOUSLY doubt the Flames are (or ever will be) the laughing stock of the league that includes the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, and Minnesota Wild.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Feaster you dumb a$$. Sarrich sat last year as the 7th defenseman, until injuries overwhelmed the team. I could have swallowed $1M for 2 years. If ever a guy should have taken a hometown discount it’s Cory Sarrich.?

  • Michael

    Any thoughts on Feaster’s master plan as it begins to unfold?

    We’ve seen a high risk / reward first round pick, a large contract for Wiseman with another NMC, a really good contract in Comeau, and the resigning of Sarich. I assume we have lots more to come, but so far, the master plan dosent seem that different than the old plan… a veterean centered approach.

  • Michael

    oh sarich is a real time and space eliminator. time to go and open up a space. geez feaster must be drinking the cool aid too. let me guess he will sing the praises of cory winning the norris too.

  • BobB

    What frustrates me about this deal, and many of these deals are that this is a perfect opportunity to start making changes.

    How are we going to be a significantly different team than last year? The last three years?

    It’s the same team again!

    Are one or two new guys are going to change us from a 10th place team to a second place team?Are we paying premiums to get the same losing roster back? Why?

    We had the chance to change up to 9+ guys on free agent contracts alone, nevermind trades. We’ve resigned 5 already before July 1st.

    2 or 3 new guys isn’t going to cut it, especially on an ageing team.

  • meat1

    I agree with Rain Dogs, we actually had an opportunity to make some positive changes with some salary coming off the books. As bad as a 30-34 year old 3.6 million dollar Sarich contract looked, a 35-36 year old 2 million dollar one is probably worse. I said it last week when we traded down to get another pick, and I’ll say it again now that we have “locked up” another 6-7 dman, we need BETTER players, not more.

  • MC Hockey

    OMG, NTC contract. Awesome! Maybe next year they will pull a Feaster-on-Conroy and force him to retire to take a job with the org. If his play is bad, one can hope for that option.

  • RKD

    Could this be the final nail in the coffin for Jay-Bo?

    I guess after two more years, Brodie and Smith will be trusted to be the go to guys even though I suspect both will be regulars anyways.

    Why keep Babs if he’s going to sit in the pressbox? Won’t Carson and Wilson play in the AHL?

  • RKD

    Randy Sportak
    Of the new deals, the only no-trade is in the first year of Cory Sarich’s deal.

    At least its only one year. Sort of good news?

  • RKD

    We are the Laughingstock of the league but we still have a sell out crowd so why change a damn thing. This franchise has no desire to succeed on the ice in my opinion.

  • jesc23

    It’s a limited NTC and for Sarich it’s not a bad thing. Chances are the Flames are giving him this last year as the final year and will give him the option of being traded or retiring and getting a job in the Org.

    At least it’s not a NMC, that would be terrible.