The singing of Tanguay, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, was made possible as the Flames were able to unload defenseman Robyn Regehr. He waived his no-trade clause earlier in the day and was dealt along with forward Ales Kotalik and a second-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for defenseman Chris Butler and forward Paul Byron.
The Flames now have the highest cap number ($56.7 million), according to capgeek.com.
The Globe and Mail reports that GM Jay Feaster thinks the Saturday’s moves should be welcomed by one Flames player in particular:
“I think - no, I know - the guy with the biggest smile on his face in Calgary isn’t Alex, it’s Jarome Iginla,” said Feaster. “Jarome has made it very clear - that’s one guy he very much wants back and wants to play with.-- A.J. Perez
“As we looked at the potential UFA market, we didn’t see a player that was going to replace him, or be as productive as we believe he can be. So we’re happy to have him back.”
It was a fair assessment, considering how important Tanguay’s playmaking was to Iginla’s 43-goal, 86-point season, good for sixth overall in the NHL scoring race. Iginla had had a couple of comparatively down seasons prior to Tanguay rejoining the team, so keeping their partnership together was an off-season priority for Feaster.
He described the situation, in which he shed $7.5-million in annual salary-cap charges in the deal with the Sabres, as emerging from “salary cap hell.” The moves created flexibility, and makes them younger, even if it creates a hole for a physical defenceman on the Flames’ blue line.