Flames sign Weegar to 8-year, $50 million extension

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The Calgary Flames have signed defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to an eight-year, $50 million extension, the team announced Friday.

Weegar came to Calgary on July 25 along with Jonathan Huberdeau in a trade that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers.

Weegar would have become an unrestricted free agent next year.

“This is going to be fun,” Weeger said. “It’s going to be a long road, it’s obviously a lot of hard work and the hard work starts now. One of the reasons I signed here is because I believe in this team. ... We have a winning team, a winning coach and a winning culture here.”

Weegar had eight goals and 36 assists in 80 games last season. The 26-year-old had 27 goals and 94 assists during his six seasons with the Panthers.

The Panthers drafted Weegar in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.

“When I signed the deal I just kept thinking about how long a road it has been for me,” Weegar said. “All my friends and family ... all the support. It’s not just me that signed this deal, it’s everyone around me.”

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports