From the department of enemy territory, the Calgary Flames are in need of a goaltender as Miikka Kiprusoff has announced his retirement….sort of.
According to Scott Cruikshank of the Calgary Herald, the veteran netminder has told the Finnish National Team that he is retiring from the game of hockey. No surprise there as that was the expected decision from the 36-year old who backstopped the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
When Kiprusoff vetoed a trade last April that would have sent him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was then that the hockey world learnt he was leaning towards retirement. And now it’s official…..sort of.
There has been no official release or statement from the Flames at this time and Kiprusoff may leave it up to his home country’s national team to break the news to Jay Feaster and company.
Courtesy of the Herald, Kiprusoff had this to say about the announcement:
“If Calgary has not announced it, you guys can do that.”
Interesting to say the least but given Kiprusoff’s track record of avoiding the media during times of recognition, this antic isn’t a surprise.
Cruikshank reminds us that this is the same goalie that wasn’t on hand to accept the Vezina Trophy in 2006 when he was honored as the top goaltender in the league that year. He also failed to show up for the press conference in 2007 when the club announced his new six-year deal. So leave it up to him to tell the hockey world that he’s not coming back by doing so in an indirect way.
But Mark Spector from Sportsnet tweeted this morning that Feaster confirmed the club will continue talking to Kiprusoff, making the whole situation just a little muddy.
Oilers’ fans won’t miss Kiprusoff if this in fact the end. Often a stubborn goalie that made game-changing saves during crucial times of the game, he was known to stymie the Oilers a time or two, taking away vital points in the standings.
The loss of Kiprusoff only adds to the long list of ‘needs’ that Feaster is seeking to make the re-building process a successful one in Calgary. Meaning it could be a long year in Calgary next season, which would suit Oilers’ fans just fine I’m sure.