Tag: Miikka Kiprusoff

Jacob Markstrom

Listing the five cheapest goalie tandems in the NHL


Apropos of nothing but curiosity on our part, here are the five cheapest goaltending tandems for the 2013-14 NHL season, in terms of cap hit.

Florida Panthers ($2.4 million)

Jacob Markstrom ($1.2 million) and Scott Clemmensen ($1.2 million) are slated to share duties for last year’s worst team in the league. The former, just 23 years old, is supposed to be the future in Florida; however, he still has much to prove after a so-so 2013 season in which his save percentage finished at .901. If the duo falters early, it will be interesting to see if general manager Dale Tallon tries to make a move. (No, not for Roberto Luongo; Vancouver kind of needs him now.)

Philadelphia Flyers ($3.15 million)

For: Ray Emery ($1.65 million) and Steve Mason ($1.5 million). As always, Philly’s goalies will be under the microscope. And for good reason. Emery, coming over from Chicago, hasn’t started more than 30 games in a season since 2006-07, while Mason will be trying to resurrect his career after falling on hard times in Columbus. Will the Flyers play a more conservative style to help out their goalies? Remember, this is what Ilya Bryzgalov’s agent said after his client was bought out: “It’s terrible for goaltenders in Philadelphia.”

Calgary Flames ($3.68 million)

Assuming Miikka Kiprusoff retires, which he hasn’t officially done yet, the Flames are expected to go with newcomer Karri Ramo ($2.75 million) and veteran Joey MacDonald ($925,000). Ramo, 27, went 26-9-5 with a .929 save percentage last season for Omsk Avangard. In terms of save percentage, only six KHL goalies were better than that. We’ll see how he does in the best league in the world.

New York Islanders ($3.83 million)

For: Evgeni Nabokov ($3.25 million) and Kevin Poulin ($577,500). This should be interesting. While he was mostly solid during the regular season, Nabokov struggled badly in the playoffs, ending up with a save percentage of .842 in six games versus the Penguins. And at 38 years old, he’s not getting any younger. Meanwhile, Poulin, 23, has a limited NHL resume, with just 17 starts to his name. It’s possible Anders Nilsson, also 23, could beat out Poulin for the backup role, but the inexperience factor would remain.

Tampa Bay Lightning ($4.1 million)

Ben Bishop ($2.3 million) and Anders Lindback ($1.8 million) form the Lightning’s young (and tall) tandem. For their team to make it back to the playoffs following consecutive misses, at least one of them will have to step up. Bishop was acquired at the trade deadline from Ottawa in return for forward Cory Conacher, and heading into training camp, he’s probably the favorite to be the opening-day starter. But that doesn’t mean Lindback can’t win the job. “They are both relatively young, and they each have tremendous upside,” said GM Steve Yzerman. “Over the course of an entire season, it will give both of them an opportunity to play. Having two guys with great potential, they’ll now both be able to develop into the goaltenders we think they can become.”

Flames still offer some solid trade bait


The Calgary Flames are expected to be somewhere between mediocre and lousy next season, but that doesn’t mean that they lack assets altogether.

Assuming that GM Jay Feaster is maintaining the same list of “untouchables” that included Sven Baertschi, Curtis Glencross, Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie at the 2013 trade deadline, here’s a look at some other players worth trading for next season.

(Note: let’s assume Miikka Kiprusoff retires or fires down all swaps like he did last time.)

Mike Cammalleri – Feaster can sell suitors on his expiring contract and the fact that he’s scored 20+ goals five times in his career, including two 30+ goal seasons. (Don’t forget his 13 goals for Montreal in the 2010 playoffs.)

Dennis Wideman – Carries many of the same strengths and weaknesses as other often-criticized offensive defensemen like Mike Green. Many teams might balk at his $5.25 million rate through 2016-17, especially since he’s already 30. Still, he brings experience and is used to logging big minutes.

Lee Stempniak – He’s quietly put up some nice numbers for the Flames at a reasonable price. Don’t be surprised if he’s a savvy deadline pickup by a contending team.

Jiri Hudler – The former Detroit Red Wings winger produced at about the same level as he did in Hockeytown. He carries a digestible price tag ($4 million per year through 2015-16) and is fairly young at 29. His stock might be at an all-time low, though.

Mikael Backlund – Perhaps some other team believes that the 24-year-old will make a breakthrough thanks to a change in scenery?

Shane O’Brien – For all his faults, he brings the kind of size and edge that is still valued in the NHL.

David Jones – Sure, the Flames just traded for him, but what if someone offers a solid pick or prospect for the overpaid sniper?

More Calgary Flames day on PHT:

Goalie Ramo is wild card for Calgary

Just how bad will the Flames be next year?

Baertschi might be the one Flame hoping to replicate 2013

Goalie Ramo is wild card for Calgary

Karri Ramo

When Karri Ramo left for the KHL in 2009, he didn’t exactly leave an impressive NHL stat line behind him. At the time of his departure, the Finnish goalie had played 48 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning, registering a .895 save percentage with a 3.35 goals-against average.

But Ramo’s fortunes turned for the better during his four-season stint with Omsk Avangard, and now he’s back in the NHL with the Calgary Flames.

In fact, with the expected retirement of Miikka Kiprusoff, Ramo could very well be the Flames’ starter next season. (Barring the acquisition of another netminder, it would seem to be either him or Joey MacDonald.)

Ramo, 27, went 26-9-5 with a .929 save percentage last season for Omsk Avangard. In terms of save percentage, only six KHL goalies were better than that.

Now, it has to be noted that success in the KHL doesn’t guarantee success in North America. We are, after all, talking about a league where journeyman Curtis Sanford registered a .927 save percentage last year.

Having said that, it’s hard to imagine Ramo does any worse in 2013-14 than the Flames’ goalies did last season when they combined for a .889 save percentage. Only the NHL-worst Florida Panthers had poorer goaltending (.887) than that, statistically speaking.

“Karri Ramo provides us with greater depth at a critical position,” said Flames general manager Jay Feaster when the club acquired the goalie’s rights from the Canadiens in December. “Ramo has NHL experience and is one of the top goaltenders in Europe. His work ethic and dedication are first rate, and he is just starting to enter the prime of his career. We believe he has the tools and mental make-up necessary to be a number one goaltender in the NHL, and are pleased to add him to our organization.”

From Sergei Bobrovsky in Columbus to James Reimer in Toronto, we saw last season just how big a factor goaltending can play in turning a team from a loser into a winner. The Blue Jackets went from dead last in the NHL to middle of the pack; the Maple Leafs made the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

Put it this way: Of the 10 teams with the highest team percentages in 2013, only Columbus and Edmonton missed the playoffs. And of the 10 teams with the lowest save percentages, only the Islanders made the playoffs.

Bit of a correlation there.

Whether Ramo is up for the task remains to be seen. But if he is, the Flames may not be as bad as many are expecting.

Just how bad will the Flames be next year?

Jay Feaster

Headline on PHT (Mar. 28, 2013):

Jay Feaster doesn’t want to call Flames rebuilding

Headline on PHT (June 14, 2013):

Feaster admits team is rebuilding

So when we ask how bad Calgary will be next year, it isn’t meant to ridicule. To the contrary, it’s a totally legitimate question, to which a lot of Flames fans are hoping the answer is, “Really, really bad. Like…the worst.”

The Flames already got three first-round picks at this summer’s draft: Sean Monahan (sixth overall), Emile Poirier (22nd) and Morgan Klimchuk (28th). But that was only the beginning, if you believe the general manager.

“I don’t think there’s a quick fix,” Feaster said, per the Calgary Sun. “The fact of the matter is we have to do a better job as an organization in drafting. We think over the last three years or so that we’ve done a better job. But not enough players are pushing through right now.”

The Flames, of course, traded away two of their best players in Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester last season. It’s also expected that goalie Miikka Kiprusoff will retire.

Granted, there’s still the likes of Mike Cammalleri, Jiri Hudler, Mark Giordano, and Dennis Wideman, but on paper, this team has big question marks in multiple areas. As in, pretty much every area that exists.

In 2013-14, the Flames will be in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers. The consensus is they’ll be hard-pressed to finish anywhere but last. Which, again, is what many fans are hoping.


It’s Calgary Flames day on PHT

It’s Calgary Flames day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Calgary Flames.

One way or another, 2013 was set up to be a crossroads season for the Calgary Flames. They had already missed out on the playoffs in their three previous seasons, but had spent years resisting calls to embrace a rebuilding process by trading captain Jarome Iginla or star goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff before they moved out of their prime.

By the time the 2013 season started, the cornerstones of their franchise were in the mid-30s and with Iginla’s contract set to expire, the Flames needed to prove that they could take a significant step forward with their current roster. They didn’t. Instead, with the possibility of losing Iginla as an unrestricted free agent hanging over their heads, the Flames moved Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester in the days leading up to the trade deadline.

They might have dealt Kiprusoff too, but he struggled mightily during the 2013 campaign and despite some reported interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs, he ended up staying with the Calgary.

On April 23, with his team’s playoff chances long since vanished, Kiprusoff allowed four goals on 32 shots in a meaningless game against the Nashville Predators. That might be the way it all ends for him. With a season still left on his contract, the man whose career took off in 2003-04 when he led the Calgary Flames within one win of the Stanley Cup is heavily leaning towards retirement.

Offseason recap

With the team now focused on rebuilding, Calgary resisted the urge to make a big splash during the free agent frenzy. Instead, Calgary re-signed forwards Mikael Backlund and Brian McGrattan as well as defenseman T.J. Brodie.

They also had Pittsburgh and St. Louis’ first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft thanks to the Iginla and Bouwmeester trades respectively. With those picks, along with their own, they drafted Canadian forwards Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier, and Morgan Klimchuk.


Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series