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Toskala Done as a Flame, Free Agent Update

Vesa Toskala will not return to back up Miikka Kiprusoff next season, Darryl Sutter announced in an interview to air on the Fan 960 at 2PM this afternoon: "Vesa made it very clear that he wanted to be a one or 1A in the league. The two toughest positions on the Calgary Flames are to play with Jarome (Iginla) and to back-up Kipper because of the expectations." It's been assumed that Abbotsford 'tender David Shantz is Toskala's heir apparent, but with news that Jose Theodore may not be back with the Caps and a number of other viable NHL back-ups available through free agency, nothing is definite. Sutter also said that he is waiting for medical clearance on Chris Higgins after the foot/ankle injury he suffered towards the end of the Flames' season before the two sides begin discussing a new deal. When asked about Nystrom, he said discussions are ongoing, but "for an offensively challenged team, we are not going to overpay for a 10-goal scorer." As for White, Sutter claims that talks are also ongoing between the two sides, and that both parties would prefer to avoid arbitration, but it is still an option.

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