With captain Jarome Iginla locked up, the Calgary Flames have turned their attention to Mikka Kiprusoff and have offered the star goaltender megabucks to stick around for a few more seasons.
Sources, however, have told Metro that Kiprusoff is rejecting the initial overtures and will test the free-agent market after the 2007-08 season if the Flames don’t increase their offer significantly before training camp opens.
•After acquiring Sheldon Souray as a free agent, the Edmonton Oilers have a surplus of NHL-calibre defencemen (nine) and are dangling a couple as trade bait for some much-needed help up front … Alexei Yashin’s tarnished reputation as a prima donna has hurt him as a free agent, and clubs aren’t exactly lining up for his services, although the Detroit Red Wings are expressing mild interest. Yashin might end up playing in Russia next season … The St. Louis Blues are trying to unload defenceman Jay McKee, who did little last season to justify the four-year, $16-million contract they gave him.
•The good news for the Saskatchewan Roughriders is, unlike past years, their players are not in trouble with the law. The bad news is their fans are.
Some have been charged with mischief after beer cans flew through the stands and drunks ran naked onto the field during a game the other night.
“Our fans need to realize it isn’t worth the notoriety to have a criminal record, to pay a fine or to be barred (from Saskatchewan games) for life,’’ Riders president Jim Hopsonsaid. “There are consequences and maybe they don’t understand that.”
•Canadian basketball star Steve Nash will turn up tomorrow to open the doors for the new Steve Nash Sports Club, a $5-million, 38,500-square-foot fitness facility in downtown Vancouver.
A news release says the club will mirror Nash’s holistic approach to fitness. Along with offering cutting-edge equipment, the release says, there will be a café serving nutritious food. And the club will be the first fitness facility in Canada to include a wide variety of eco-friendly features.
The release says the club also will work to improve conditions for local children and youth, partnering with the Steve Nash Foundation and its children’s health programs.
• And get this:
After he lost a tough game the other night to the Toronto Blue Jays, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett went to a Boston bar and drowned his sorrows at a table while listening to some encouraging words from a new friend of his — rapper Ja Rule.