The Calgary Flames may not be done dealing, but a chaotic week for the southern Alberta franchise will eventually come to an end when the clock strikes 3 p.m. ET.
The question is: will goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff still be a member of the Calgary Flames when the figurative trade buzzer sounds?
For his part, Kiprusoff isn’t saying much of anything. Even after reports surfaced that the Toronto Maple Leafs received permission to speak directly to the 36-year-old netminder.
“That’s how it is,” said Kiprusoff, as per the Calgary Herald. “Every year, the same thing around some players. Now, more than ever, it’s around me this year. But as a player, it is what it is.
“Well, like I said a few days ago, I’m here getting ready for the next game…I’m not talking about any trade stuff or any rumours.”
Well, we’ll discuss rumours.
Should Kiprusoff get dealt, Toronto seems to be the likeliest choice. But then again, Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks has also been mentioned as a fit in Toronto, a goalie that could perhaps not only get them into the playoffs but could also win the Leafs a round or two.
Rumors and speculation about a Luongo trade to the Leafs have been circulating for almost an entire year.
Here’s a little bit of what Toronto Star sports columnist Damien Cox had to say about the potential of Kiprusoff being shipped to Toronto:
Then there’s Miikka Kiprusoff, one of the first to sign those backsliding contracts that went from a big salary to a small one. According to his former coach Mike Keenan, Kiprusoff never intended to play the final year next season for a $1.5 million salary, and a premature baby born to him and his wife in recent weeks left him even more anchored to Calgary.
But maybe not. Maybe, given the right inducements, the 36-year-old Kiprusoff will consider a late-season trade to the Leafs, and on Monday afternoon, the Leafs received permission from the Flames to speak directly to the Finnish netminder and his Ottawa-based agent, Larry Kelly.
“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.
The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).
The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.
Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:
The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”
Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.
For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”
They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:
- Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
- This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
- By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.
Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).
Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.
Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.