Tag: Miikka Kiprusoff

Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames

Trade deadline: Flames’ Kiprusoff keeping quiet

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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.

Leafs’ Reimer channels Burke, calls trade deadline ‘a huge distraction’

James Reimer

With the Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly kicking the tires on Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo, some are wondering what toll this has taken on James Reimer.

On Tuesday, Toronto’s No. 1 netminder — for now, anyway — let folks know.

“Honestly, it is a distraction. I mean it’s a huge distraction,” Reimer told James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail. “To not be playing is almost a benefit.

“It’s not like it would ruin your play, but it is a distraction. So it’s just one more thing you have to keep off your mind.”

The Leafs are in the midst of one of their longest breaks of the season. They haven’t played since beating Ottawa 4-0 on Saturday, and won’t play against until Thursday, one day after the trade deadline.

For Reimer and backup Ben Scrivens, the stretch is probably a blessing and a curse.

Blessing, because the incessant rumors won’t affect their on-ice play — curse, because they can’t do anything but sit and wait for things to play out.

This isn’t the first time “trade deadline is a distraction” talk has popped up in Toronto, either.

Last year, former GM Brian Burke contemplated instituting his own personalized deadline prior to the actual deadline, in order to “save” his players from the rumors and scuttlebutt.

“It’s to the point where I’m debating doing the same thing I do at Christmas, starting our own trade freeze 10 days before, that’s how distracting it is,” Burke said at the time. “Clarke MacArthur has been traded 10 times. [Mikhail] Grabovski’s been traded 12 times. [Nikolai] Kulemin has been traded. Luke Schenn has been traded 50 times.

“I think it’s remarkable the players keep their focus.”

Of course, the Leafs didn’t keep their focus — they collapsed badly down the stretch and missed the playoffs — and, just for good measure, Burke traded Schenn for the 51st time at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

If there’s a silver lining for the Leafs, it’s that neither Reimer nor Scrivens have allowed the distraction to affect their play.

Reimer sits 13th in the NHL in save percentage (.920) and Scrivens ranks 18th, at .918.

The pair have also combined to hit the 20-win plateau, a feat only eight NHL teams have accomplished heading into Tuesday night’s action.

Flames GM Feaster shares responsibility for struggling team

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

Last week, it was Jarome Iginla. On Monday, it was Jay Bouwmeester. Tuesday, or Wednesday, it could be Miikka Kiprusoff.

Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster has traded away very distinguished hockey players in Iginla and Bouwmeester – expensive, though, with cap hits of $7 million and $6.68 million, respectively – and his club continues to plummet in the Western Conference standings.

On Monday, sans Bouwmeester, the Flames were beaten up by their Alberta rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, 4-1. Calgary sits 14th in the Western Conference, two points clear of the bottom-dwelling Colorado Avalanche.

Frustration brews among hockey fans in Cowtown.

Feaster accepted his share of the blame for the dismal position his hockey club is in, but also believes there are lessons to be learned from hard times like this.

“I didn’t want to be the guy to trade Jarome Iginla,” Feaster told the Calgary Herald. “I didn’t want to be the guy who is trading Bouw.

“But the reality of it is, if it’s on anybody, if it’s anybody’s fault, then it’s my fault. I should have had the intellectual honesty even earlier and said this isn’t working.

“So shame on me, but I’m making sure we’re going to correct that going forward.”


Report: Flames give Leafs permission to speak with Kiprusoff

Miikka Kiprusoff

The Maple Leafs are working on acquiring a veteran goalie — but it’s not the one you might think.

Toronto has reportedly been granted permission by Calgary to speak with Miikka Kiprusoff, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

Kiprusoff, 36, has two years remaining on the six-year, $35 million deal he signed with Calgary in 2008. While his no-trade/movement clause has expired, reports have suggested he wouldn’t report to a new team if he was dealt.

It’s believed family reasons are at the core of this decision. Kiprusoff’s wife recently gave birth to their second son, Oskar.

As such, the Leafs presumably want to do their homework before doing a deal — but that’s not the only angle of this story.

Earlier today, Toronto GM Dave Nonis said adding a goalie wasn’t a priority for his club, which is looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

“It’s the same as every other position,” Nonis said. “If we can add a goaltender that strengthens our group and helps the guys that we have here, then we would look to do it. If not, as we’ve said all along, we think we have two NHL-caliber goalies [in James Reimer and Ben Scrivens.]

“They’ve proved that so far this year, and goaltending hasn’t been an issue.”

The other angle?

Toronto’s been tied to Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo for what feels like forever.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that the Leafs and Canucks had renewed discussions about the 33-year-old netminder.

That revelation was followed by GM Mike Gillis saying that multiple teams were in on Luongo:

All this could be smoke — posturing, if you will.

The Canucks could be driving up their asking price by saying several teams are inquiring about Luongo, and the Leafs could be countering by saying they’re serious about Kiprusoff.

Whatever the case, it promises to be an interesting story to follow as we creep closed to Wednesday’s trade deadline.


According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, there’s also a team other than Toronto talking to Calgary about Kiprusoff.

Goaltending ‘not a priority’ for Leafs at deadline, says Nonis

James Reimer and Ben Scrivens

Just two days before the trade deadline, and with the Maple Leafs on the way to their first playoff appearance since before the last lockout, Toronto general manager Dave Nonis didn’t sound like a man desperate to acquire a goalie.

For that matter, he didn’t sound desperate to add much of anything.

“It’s not a priority,” Nonis said today when asked about the importance of adding a goalie. “It’s the same as every other position. If we can add a goaltender that strengthens our group and helps the guys that we have here, then we would look to do it. If not, as we’ve said all along, we think we have two NHL-caliber goalies. They’ve proved that so far this year, and goaltending hasn’t been an issue. So it’s really not any different than any other position… It’s not like we’re not comfortable with the two players in net. They’ve done a good job both of them.”

After numerous seasons that featured problems between the pipes, goalies James Reimer and Ben Scrivens have teamed up to give the Leafs a .916 save percentage, the eighth-highest in the NHL.

The last time the Leafs could say their goaltending was better than average was back in the days of Ed Belfour, around a decade ago.

So while there’s been no shortage of speculation involving Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff and others, Nonis may end up standing pat.

In 22 appearances this season, 25-year-old Reimer is 13-4-4 with a .920 save percentage.

“He seems to be getting more comfortable in the net right now,” said Nonis. “His play has been very good. There’s no reason why that can’t continue. Even if we brought another goaltender in, James has done a good job to show us he can play a lot of games and play at a high level.”