As trade rumors swirl, struggling Kiprusoff gets start in Columbus

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Of all the NHL goalies with at least 10 starts this season, not one of them has a lower save percentage than Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff (.869).

Kiprusoff started yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Predators in Nashville, surrendering five goals on just 23 shots. Yet the Flames will reportedly have the 36-year-old back in net again tonight in Columbus.

Not that Calgary has an obvious alternative — veteran Joey McDonald is the backup, and he hasn’t been fantastic either.

Besides, Kiprusoff has been a rock for the Flames for around a decade.

Like teammates Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, Kiprusoff has been forced to address trade rumors as the April 3 deadline gets closer and Calgary remains out of the playoff picture.

“I try to stay out of that,” he said recently. “I try to keep it simple, still. I try to help team here. Try to win games.”

Kiprusoff has one year remaining on his contract, which features a big cap hit of $5.83 million. However, it’s worth noting his salary for 2013-14 is just $1.5 million, a figure that could make him attractive to a club with budget constraints.

Just to throw it out there — might Florida be interested in acquiring Kiprusoff to act as a mentor for young Jacob Markstrom?

According to the Calgary Herald, Chicago and Toronto are rumored to be “sniffing around” as well.