Crowded crease: Flames to carry three goalies, Ramo starts opening night

Several teams around the NHL have been keeping an eye on what Calgary will do with its three-headed goalie monster.

Sounds like they’ll have to keep watching.

The Flames are planning to keep all of their netminders — Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio — to open the year, per the Calgary Sun.

The Flames also announced that Ramo will be the opening-night starter when they take on the Canucks Wednesday, with Hiller his backup and Ortio a healthy scratch.

It’s pretty clear nobody’s happy with the current situation.

“The only good thing about three goalies is that it’s giving you another subject of conversation,” Hartley said, per NHL.com. “That’s about the only good thing that comes out of it. At the same time, it’s our situation. we’re going to work with it and see what will happen.”

Hiller, who was involved in a three-man goalie situation in Anaheim, knows that it can be an uncomfortable situation.

“Three ways, I think it always gets a little difficult in practice and stuff,” he said, per the Sun. “I have no clue what the plan is, but we’ll make it work and try to get the guy who plays the best chance that he can be successful playing, and see that the other two guys can stay in shape and be ready if they get a chance.”

Calgary was backstopped by the Ramo-Hiller tandem last year, and fared well — well enough that Ramo was brought back on a one-year, $3.8 million deal on the opening day of free agency.

Hiller is also now on a one-year contract — in the last of a deal that pays $4.5 million annually — and Ortio, thought by some to be the organization’s goalie of the future, would need to pass through waivers before heading to the club’s AHL affiliate in Stockton.

And that’s why the Flames have three goalies.

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