Flames goalie prospect: ‘Nobody can replace’ Kiprusoff

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With Miikka Kiprusoff no longer with the Calgary Flames – his retirement was announced earlier this week – the opportunity for a young goalie to take hold of the starting job is wide open.

Kiprusoff is originally from Turku, Finland. There’s a Finnish goalie currently in the Flames camp, and that would be Karri Ramo. As Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald reports, there are four candidates to take over from Kiprusoff, including Ramo, Reto Berra, Joey MacDonald, and  Joni Ortio.

No pressure, right?

“Because I don’t think it’s the pressure of being Miikka — nobody can replace him,” Ramo told the Calgary Herald.

“Obviously, nobody can be the new Kiprusoff. But to be a go-to guy here — or anywhere in the (National Hockey League)? It’s a high-pressure spot. It would be the same thing even if Miikka was here. You would still feel the pressure (because) you would want to beat him.

“But you can’t think about him. Like, ‘Oh, Kiprusoff would have made this save and I couldn’t make it.’ You have to be yourself and play your game.

Kiprusoff, who turns 37 years of age in October, joined the Flames for the 2003-04 season and then backstopped that team to within one win of a Stanley Cup championship.

Following the lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season, Kiprusoff played 70 or more games a season in each of the last seven seasons prior to the 2012-13 lockout.

Ramo, 27, signed with the Flames in July. He has 48 games of NHL experience, all coming with the Tampa Bay Lightning.