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Trade allows Flames to re-sign Tanguay

Associated Press / June 26, 2011

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The Calgary Flames dealt defenseman Robyn Regehr to the Buffalo Sabres yesterday after he waived his no-trade clause, clearing space under the salary cap for the Flames to re-sign left wing Alex Tanguay to a five-year, $17.5 million contract.

Regehr had spent his entire 12-year career with the Flames, serving as an alternate captain who didn’t do much offensively but brought plenty of grit to the blue line. Calgary general manager Jay Feaster said Regehr expressed a willingness to waive his no-trade during his exit interview after the season.

“He said, ‘If you feel that I’m part of your solution here, that moving me out helps the organization, then I’m willing to work with you,’ ’’ Feaster said at the draft in St. Paul. “Again, that just speaks to his character and his professionalism.’’

Feaster experienced the same situation with Brad Richards in Tampa Bay.

“When you have a warrior like Robyn is, a guy who has been there as long as he has been there, who has done as much for the franchise as he has, that’s a very difficult phone call to make,’’ Feaster said.

The Flames sent Regehr, right wing Ales Kotalik, and their second-round draft pick in 2012 to the Sabres for defenseman Chris Butler and center Paul Byron. Perhaps the most excited person by the day’s events was Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who lobbied his team hard to re-sign Tanguay.

“The chemistry between the two of them is pretty impressive,’’ Feaster said.

The front office decided that the 32-year-old Tanguay — who has 686 points over 818 NHL games — was a better option at his position than any of the available unrestricted free agents who will hit the market next week.

“We didn’t see a player who was going to be as productive as he can and will be,’’ Feaster said. “So it’s good to have him back.’’

The Flames now can continue to be aggressive in free agency to fill Regehr’s spot on the blue line.

“We’ve been in salary-cap jail for some time,’’ Feaster said, “and this gives us an opportunity to have some breathing room.’’

Kotalik, who three times reached the 20-goal mark over five full seasons with the Sabres, returns to his original team.

Senators acquire Filatov The Blue Jackets traded forward Nikita Filatov to the Senators for a third-round pick, No. 66 overall, which they used on center Thomas Tynan of Des Moines of the USHL. Filatov, the No. 6 selection in the 2008 draft, had seven assists in 23 games with Columbus last season. His NHL career has started slowly, with six goals and seven assists in 44 games. Filatov has also played in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League . . . The Rangers moved prospect forward Evgeny Grachev to the Blues for a third-round choice, which New York used to select 18-year-old American high school forward Steven Fogarty No. 72 overall. The 21-year-old Grachev had 16 goals, 22 assists, and a plus-21 rating in 73 games last season with the Connecticut Whale, the Rangers’ AHL affiliate . . . The Islanders dealt defenseman Bruno Gervais to the Lightning for future considerations. The 26-year-old Gervais had six assists in 53 games last season with the Islanders. In 331 NHL games, all with New York, he has nine goals and 59 assists.

Blood sport The Hurricanes picked up two players with hockey in their genes during Day 2 of the draft, selecting the son of Oilers executive Kevin Lowe in the third round and yet another Sutter four rounds later. “We have more than one Staal, and more than one Sutter, and now we have Kevin Lowe’s son,’’ GM Jim Rutherford said. “So, we do have a lot of hockey people in our organization.’’ Carolina selected defenseman Keegan Lowe with the 73d selection, then spent the 193d pick on center Brody Sutter — the son of former NHL player Duane Sutter and the younger cousin of two players in the organization: Carolina forward Brandon Sutter and minor league forward Brett Sutter . . . Among the players taken on Day 2 were three Boston University Terriers: defenseman Adam Clendening (36th, Blackhawks), left wing Matt Nieto (47th, Sharks), and defenseman Garrett Noonan (112th, Predators) . . . Twenty-eight Swedes were selected in the seven-round draft, trailing only Canada (79) and the US (64). There were a record four Swedish players taken in the top 10.

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