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.
From the NHL:
Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.
Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.
PITTSBURGH — When Pete DeBoer was hired to coach the San Jose Sharks, he wasn’t totally cognizant of how much heartbreak the fan base had experienced throughout the years.
Now he knows.
“First year in the community, I didn’t realize kind of the baggage that was carried around,” DeBoer said this morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “Twenty-five-year season-ticket holders coming up to you with tears in their eyes and crying.”
The Sharks, of course, have never been this far in the playoffs. Prior to this year, they’d made it three times to the Western Conference Final, losing each time.
More painful were the first-round exits. Like in 2009 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy and got knocked out by the Ducks, and two years ago when they led the Kings 3-0 before dropping four straight.
It was only after the Sharks beat the Blues that DeBoer fully realized the “gravity of what they’ve been through” as fans in San Jose, and “how important this is to them.”
Not that he’s satisfied with getting this far.
“The business at hand now is to get off on the right foot, plant the right seeds for this series, impose our game,” he said. “Every series is the same — it’s whatever team can impose their game on the other team the quickest and for the longest. That’s our goal here tonight.”
Related: For Pete DeBoer, San Jose was the perfect landing spot
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar will spend part of his offseason trying to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics.
RTV Slovenia has the story here.
The qualification games will be played September 1-4 in Minsk. Slovenia is in a group with Belarus, Denmark and Poland. The winner of the group will qualify for the Olympics.
The NHL reportedly has no issue with Kopitar’s participation, even though the league has yet to commit to sending its players to Pyeongchang.
Slovenia made its Olympic debut in ice hockey at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Kopitar will also represent Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup later in September.
Related: Slovenia beats Slovakia for historic win
PITTSBURGH — Matt Nieto is healthy, and ready to go.
But it doesn’t look like he’ll go tonight.
The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to make any lineup changes for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh — at Monday’s optional morning skate, Nieto stayed out late with the extras while the guy he’d (presumably) replace in the lineup, Dainius Zubrus, told NHL.com he was in.
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer wouldn’t reveal any lineup decisions during his morning media availability, instead talking up both Nieto (for his speed) and Zubrus (for his “heavy” game), adding he liked the versatility the two give the club on a night-by-night basis.
Nieto suffered an upper-body injury in Game 6 of the Nashville series, and missed all of the Western Conference Final.
Prior to getting hurt, he had three points in 11 games — this after a regular season in which he scored eight goals and 17 points in 67 games.