The Calgary Flames dodged a major bullet with the news that Miikka Kiprusoff is only day-to-day with a lower body injury.
Kiprusoff was pulled after the second period in Calgary’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings after feeling discomfort in his lower body. The injury is believed to be related to the MCL in his knee but is not considered serious at this time. However, the Flames are awaiting further test results.
After feeling the discomfort, it was advised that Kiprusoff sit out and the goalie believes he’ll be able to return to action in a couple of days. Leland Irving played his first period of the year after Kiprusoff played all of Calgary’s first seven games of the season.
Kiprusoff is 2-3-2 on the season with a 3.23 goals against average but despite the losing record, he is arguably the Flames’ most valuable player. If Calgary lost their starting goaltender for any significant portion of time, the team wouldn’t be able to recover. Irving is a young goaltender looking to make a name for himself in the league and he might be able to hold his own, but he is no Kiprusoff.
The other factor involved is the trade discussion that seems to surround Calgary’s number one goalie every season. The Flames refuse to rebuild, constantly re-loading with new players instead of tearing it down and starting all over. The biggest reason why they continue to do so, despite missing the playoffs every time they do, is because the team believes with Kiprusoff in net anything is possible. It’s a belief shared across the league with 29 other teams, which is why the goalie’s value would be extremely high if he’s healthy. Any team that feels they are one quality goaltender away from truly contending would jump at the opportunity to acquire Kiprusoff.
If Calgary continues to struggle this season–they’re currently dead last in the Western Conference–one has to wonder if this will be the year the Flames finally choose to rebuild by unloading their stars. Moving Kiprusoff would give Calgary a major jump start to any potential rebuild as his return would provide the Flames a potentially massive package. Whether it’s prospects, draft picks or both coming to Calgary, there’s little doubt Kiprusoff’s value is up there with some of the best goalies in the league.
Unfortunately, the Flames wouldn’t be able to trade the goaltender if he’s injured, which is just another reason why Calgary dodged a major bullet with his injury.