The Calgary Flames are obviously an organization in flux. They’re in a rebuilding mode and don’t seem to be on track to be much better than they were in 2013. There has been improvement this offseason, though, as the organization has added some decent pieces, and has some young talent coming up through the pipeline.
However, while this team isn’t expecting much, there’s still massive uncertainty surrounding their situation between the pipes. With Miikka Kiprusoff apparently retiring, though there was never any official confirmation other than statements he gave to reporters over in Europe, the Flames will likely roll into 2013-14 with a new netminder.
There’s just one issue: we don’t know who that new netminder will be. Kiprusoff vacated the Calgary net, assuming he has retired, without a real successor. His backup last season was career backup Joey MacDonald, who is signed for next year. There is also some young goaltending that could look to make an impact next year.
Given the fact that he’s the only one with experience, MacDonald looks to be the one with the inside track to the starting job. However, there’s a reason he’s a career backup. Which means that he could cede control to one of the younger options that the Flames could have.
Reto Berra and Karri Ramo represent the other contenders for the starting goaltending gig. The latter was signed to a contract officially, so he’ll likely be right in the mix, while Berra was recently at prospect camp, so the Flames have had an early look at what he brings to the mix.
The Flames have four goaltenders under contract, including Kiprusoff. We don’t know what his plan is at this point, but it has to include retiring at this point in the summer. Meaning MacDonald, Berra, and Ramo will battle it out for two spots. This will be a reason to keep an eye on the Flames as training camps begin to approach.