With their season over, the Calgary Flames now face questions about a number of veteran presences — specifically, captain Mark Giordano and goalie Karri Ramo.
On Tuesday, GM Brad Treliving shed some light onto where both fall on the priority chart.
Giordano tops it, per Treliving, who said getting the captain signed to a contract extension is his No. 1 job — once Giordano is eligible to sign a new deal on July 1. The 31-year-old, heading into the last of a five-year, $20.1 million deal, missed the final quarter of 2014-15 (and all of the playoffs) with a torn biceps tendon but is universally regarded as the Flames’ leader and best player. Giordano was also widely considered to be a Norris Trophy frontrunner at the time of his injury; he still managed to finish 13th among d-men in scoring this year, with 48 points, despite missing 21 games.
“Everybody in this room knows what Mark means,” Treliving said. “On the ice, we all know. He’s a culture-setter for me. We plan to get to work at it [contract extension] and have done some preliminary work at it, but it’s one we want to get wrapped up real quick this summer.”
As for Ramo, his future is murkier.
The Finnish netminder had a pretty good season, essentially splitting starting duties with Jonas Hiller (Ramo had 32 starts to Hiller’s 44.) That trend carried over to the playoffs, where Hiller was the No. 1 against Vancouver, only to cede the gig in Round 2 versus Anaheim, when Ramo took the job and played well; in Calgary’s Game 5 elimination, the 28-year-old stopped 44 of 47 shots, many of the highlight-reel variety.
Ramo, though, is a pending UFA and the Flames have both Hiller and highly-touted AHLer Joni Ortio under contract for next season. What’s more, Ortio now requires waivers to be sent down to the American League, and Treliving hinted that a three-goalie rotation wasn’t something the club wanted to mess around with.
“We’ve got a young guy Ortio who’s pushing, knocking on the door,” Treliving explained. “[Ramo] is a decision we’ve got to make over the course of the next few weeks, we’re just not there yet.
“A wise man told me there’s only one net. Carrying three goalies, you can only do it for a short period of time.”
As for the club’s other key free agents — RFAs Lance Bouma and Mikael Backlund — Treliving said “we expected to get both of them signed.”