There aren’t going to be many favorable storylines for the Calgary Flames this summer. The ones that they will be featured in will likely include key players departing, as the organization gets further into this rebuild and tries to rack up the young talent in the farm system.
Among the players departing, most are expected to be gone via trade, but at least one is looking like he could announce his retirement any day now. That one is obviously Miikka Kiprusoff, to the surprise of virtually no one. This has been a rumor since the trade deadline, when the Flames were shopping him.
Kiprusoff represents the last true mainstay in this Flames organization, with both Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester finding their way out of town at the deadline. There were rumors he could do the same, but ended up staying, instead insisting that he would consider retirement after the season.
It appears that that announcement could very well be on the horizon. Coming off one of the worst years of his career, which featured a .882 save percentage and a 3.44 goals against average, Calgary general manager Jay Feaster reported that Kiprusoff was leaning towards retirement.
He has one year remaining on his contract, but the expectation has been for a couple of months now that he’d be ready to hang up the skates. The Flames fans already had a ceremony of sorts in the last home game of the year to say goodbye to him, while the Flames have already been looking for ways to replace him, signing Joey MacDonald to an extension and agreeing to a deal with Karri Ramo.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Flames plan on replacing the best goaltender in franchise history. It won’t be an easy thing to do, regardless of how poor a year he had last season. First, the announcement has to come, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before we hear Kiprusoff announce that he’s decided to call it a career.