Saturday, April 23, 2005

Agent:Turek did not cancel contract with Flames

Turek has played 328 games in his eight NHL seasons, posting a record of 159-115-43 with a 2.31 goals-against average.

(CP) -- The agent for Roman Turek said there's no change in the goaltender's contract status with the Calgary Flames, despite a report to the contrary.

The CTK news agency reported that Turek had cancelled his contract with the NHL team.

"He has not," agent Ritch Winter said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press on Friday.

Turek's Czech league team, HC Ceske Budejovice, said on its website that it hoped to sign him later this month. Turek would have made $5-million US this season with the Flames, had there not been a lockout.

"His contract expires at the end of this year, he has an option to extend it," Winter said. "I think the Czech team is perhaps announcing their intention aware of this fact. But Roman has not entered into an agreement with them, he has not negotiated an agreement with them so his future is as yet undetermined like about 690 of his teammates and opponents.

"They're jumping the gun, but we'll see what the end result is once we know what the landscape is."

Turek, 34, had a 6-11-0 record with a 2.33 goals-against average in an injury-plagued 2003-04 season. He suffered a knee injury early in the campaign and primarily served as a backup to Miikka Kiprusoff upon his return. The Flames made it to the Stanley Cup final but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

"I talk to Roman all the time, I know exactly what his thoughts are," Winter said. "We're not in a position to communicate with the Calgary Flames or have any discussions regarding his future until this lockout is resolved, and at that point those discussions will be held and decisions will be made."

Flames coach and GM Darryl Sutter, reached by phone in B.C., said it's up to Roman or his agent to make an official announcement, if they have one to make.

"The bottom line is he's a locked-out player so there's nothing to even talk about," Sutter said. "And if it in fact comes to pass that that's the decision he makes, would it be a surprise? No.

"I think that's one of the issues with the lockout is you have a lot of older European players with young families that have spent the year in their native country and I think there'll probably be more than one player who makes that decision at some point."

Turek was drafted 113th overall by Minnesota in the 1990 entry draft. He spent five seasons with Ceske Budejovice and another with Nurnberg of the German league.

Turek signed with Dallas in 1996 and spent parts of three seasons with the Stars, winning a Stanley Cup in 1998-99. He was traded to St. Louis that spring and spent two seasons with the Blues before being dealt to Calgary on June 23, 2001.

"There's a lot of uncertainty," Winter said. "Roman's an older player who's got three children. We've talked about what his options will be, we've communicated them to the Flames. Depending how the labour situation is resolved, Roman, and ultimately working with Darryl Sutter and others, we'll make a decision."

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