The Calgary Flames
have waded into the free agent waters and signed defenceman Cory Sarich
The eight-year NHL veteran is six-foot-three, wieghs 210 pounds and is a right-handed shot.
The 29-year-old Saskatoon native played last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning
, a team he played for in 2004 when they defeated the Flames in seven games in the Stanley Cup Final.
Sarich is looking forward to joining the Flames blueline.
"You look around and there is some great talent and great balance on the blueline. There's some offence with Dion Phaneuf
and Adrian Aucoin
and defence with myself and Rhett Warrener
. Robyn Regehr
is a guy who goes at both ends of the ice," said Sarich. "I'm very excited about it."
Sarich, who had 15 assists last season, makes his off-season home north of Calgary in Sylvan Lake.
"This has been my off-season home. Now it is going to be a more permanent home," said Sarich.
"My wife was thrilled when this came up. I have family in Saskatchewan and in British Columbia. That helped a lot in the decision."
"I think this is a club that is heading in the right direction. There is a good nucleus of guys. I had the chance to play against them a couple of years ago in the playoffs and I've watched what they have done the last couple of years. There is nowhere to go but up for this team," said Sarich.
The five-year contract was also enticing.
"It will take me into my early 30s so I am excited. I am a guys who likes to stay put. I was like that in Tampa," said Sarich. "Another big thing for me is becoming a team guy and becoming a core part of the process and that can happen here with five years."
Sarich said he has no problems with the Flames new head coach, Mike Keenan, noting he played for a taskmaster in Tampa Bay, John Tortorella.
"You only hear and read things. I haven't had any experience with Mike but I have dealt with a guy that can push you," said Sarich.