The 24-year-old sure didn’t hurt his case last night with a 35-save shutout over Colorado — even if he looked a bit shaky early in the preseason affair.
“Pucks were bouncing on me in the first, but the guys were good clearing loose change in front and I think that settled me down,” said Ortio, per the Canadian Press.
No longer exempt from waivers, Ortio has presented the Flames with a bit a crease conundrum. They have three goalies. They only need two.
According to the Calgary Sun, “logic dictates Hiller will be the odd man out” of the three.
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The Flames would likely love to trade Hiller to a team suffering a training camp injury and in need of a proven starter. However, the return would be minimal and it’s more likely he’ll be waiver-bound, setting up a scenario where Hiller would either be plucked by another team or off for a stint with the Flames’ AHL club.
The team certainly doesn’t want to carry three goalies on the roster much past opening night, and the one they’d least like to lose is the youngest, cheapest and most promising one — Ortio.
Every year there seems to be at least one team that struggles early with its goaltending. Minnesota was a prime example last season, until Devan Dubnyk was acquired from Arizona.
The Flames could wait for such a situation to present itself this season.
Hiller is a pending unrestricted free agent. Last year, the 33-year-old had a respectable .918 save percentage in 52 appearances.