The Back-up Goalie Market

Kent Wilson
June 18 2010 10:57AM

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Antero Niittymaki #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New York Islanders on February 13, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Isles defeated the Lightning 5-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

 

The surprising Halak to St. Louis trade yesterday was marginally relevant to the Flames in that another team now has a solidified starter heading into next season. Jobs will therefore be even harder come by for this year's UFA goalie crop as a result, which should result in more than a couple of quality puck stoppers looking for work later in the summer.

This should play in Calgary's favor. The Flames will be looking for someone competent to back-up Miika Kiprusoff next year, something the club has lacked since Roman Turek took his ball and went home.

There are currently 25 NHL caliber goalies set to become free agents on July 1. Scratch Vesa Toskala, whom Sutter recently admitted isn't in the Flames plans, and that leaves 20 names. From that list, you can likely delete Evgeni Nabokov, Jose Theodore, Marty Turco and Chris Mason, all of whom are established starters and will be looking for an opportunity to win the #1 role on whatever club they land with.

Other guys you can likely omit based on a number of factors are Patric Lalime (old, terrible), Johan Backlund (unproven), Joey McDonald (AHLer), Stephen Valiquette (failed as Lundqvists back-up) and Matt Climie (who?). I'd wager Sebastion Caron, Mike Brodeur and Yann Danis aren't on the Flames roster as well.

That leaves Dany Sabourin, Curtis Sanford, Wade Dubielewicz, Dan Ellis, Andrew Raycroft, Johan Hedberg, Martin Biron, Antero Niittymaki, Micheal Leighton, Alex Auld and (depending on his health) Ray Emery. There's also pending RFA Josh Harding who is rumored to be available as well.

That's a lot of veteran back-ups. Some are clearly better than others (I'd grade Ellis, Biron, Harding and Niittymaki at the top of this class), but given Calgary's cap issues and the fact that Kipper's presnce is a solid deterrent against signing with the Flames (assuming the goalie in question wants to play more than 10 times to 15 times a year), Sutter may just have to wait until late August and scoop up whoever's the "best of the rest" for cheap. Looking at the sheer number of goalies who are looking for work this off-season, that shouldn't be aq problem.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Lawrence
June 18 2010, 05:13PM
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@RO

"Why? His career numbers don't exactly flatter him, the midpoint of the expectation for betting men is that he won't be elite this season. I mean Christ I may not have been correct about Kipper's performance in one universe (he got lucky) but I am right about the whole population of goalies. I mean what is this, build a team full of one-year wonders, year after year?"

Huh? His career numbers don't exactly flatter him? What? What are you going on about? Try using some numbers to back up your claims.

Universe, video games??? You haven't been correct about anything if you believe Kiprusoff has been a quote "one-year wonder"

Listen, we'll go over this, unfortunately, again.

1. Let's start with EV sv% - .928% last year.

2. Now, lets look at his 'career' numbers...

Kipper as a starter (03-04 to today (CGY)): 7867/8490 - .927%

Kipper without Keenan (03/04,05/06,06/07,09/10): 4968/5316 - .935%

Kipper with Keenan (07/08, 08/09): 2899/3174 - .913%

Kipper NHL career (ev sv% totals inc. SJ): 8615/9321 - .924%

Goalies with 7000+ ev shots against since '98-99:

1. Hasek: 7352 - .931% 2. Luongo: 13588 - .928% 3. Vokoun: 13014 - .927% 4. Giguere: 10180 - .925% 5. Kiprusoff: 9321 - .924%

So, you've got five goalies....FIVE! Hasek, Luongo, Vokoun, Giguere and Kiprusoff with over 9000 ev strength shots against and a .924ev sv% or higher. And I'm willing to bet Kiprusoff passes Giguere by the end of this coming season.

You consider the Keenan years and his bloodbath handling of Miikka as outliers and there has not been a single goalie...NOT ONE, not even Hasek with better numbers than Kipper with ev sv%.

In four years with the Flames as a starter 03-07 and 09/10 Kiprusoff has been the best ev sv% goalie in the NHL, hands down, since they have tracked the stat.

The only gripe anyone can have with Kiprusoff's career are two years with Keenan...and even WITH those numbers he's quite easily argued as a top-five goalie in the league with a very confident sample size.

How is that "not flattering"? I think you need to talk more about this universe than other universes.

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#2 kermitology
June 18 2010, 11:14AM
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Kiprusoff should be limited to 60 games at most. So there's 22 games at minimum for the backup to play. I'd prefer to see Kipper play 55-60 range.

Ellis made $2,000,000 last year. That might be too rich for Calgary.

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#4 R O
June 18 2010, 11:32AM
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I don't understand why Kiprusoff "should" be limited to 60 games.

It's either 70+ starts (if he's actually good, I have doubts) or zero starts (if he's no good as I suspect, in which case it'd be nice to try and use him to acquire a good player).

I mean we pay the guy enough to be a difference-maker, he better damn well be making a difference. I haven't seen any evidence one way or the other that minutes played or games played does anything to SV% that is outside the realm of good old-fashioned luck.

I mean it's just tending nets, compared to any of the skating positions it's a damn walk in the park.

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#5 Bob
June 18 2010, 12:34PM
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R O wrote:

I don't understand why Kiprusoff "should" be limited to 60 games.

It's either 70+ starts (if he's actually good, I have doubts) or zero starts (if he's no good as I suspect, in which case it'd be nice to try and use him to acquire a good player).

I mean we pay the guy enough to be a difference-maker, he better damn well be making a difference. I haven't seen any evidence one way or the other that minutes played or games played does anything to SV% that is outside the realm of good old-fashioned luck.

I mean it's just tending nets, compared to any of the skating positions it's a damn walk in the park.

I think Kipper should be playing 65-70 games (rough number). And we do pay him alot to be the difference maker. But that's why some people get upset. Why should he always be relied upon to be the difference maker? As for the part of "It's just tending nets". Go play 80 NHL games as a goaltender, complete with facing 30+ shots a night, acrobatic manouvers, on your feet for 3 straight periods while the other skaters get to sit between shifts, and don't forget to factor in travel and practice times. Once you've done that...get back to us!!

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#6 Hayley
June 18 2010, 12:36PM
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I think my top choices for a back-up would be Niittymaki or Biron--both are probably out of the Flames' price range though.

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#7 Marcus
June 18 2010, 12:44PM
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R O wrote:

I don't understand why Kiprusoff "should" be limited to 60 games.

It's either 70+ starts (if he's actually good, I have doubts) or zero starts (if he's no good as I suspect, in which case it'd be nice to try and use him to acquire a good player).

I mean we pay the guy enough to be a difference-maker, he better damn well be making a difference. I haven't seen any evidence one way or the other that minutes played or games played does anything to SV% that is outside the realm of good old-fashioned luck.

I mean it's just tending nets, compared to any of the skating positions it's a damn walk in the park.

You are no longer permitted to talk hockey. Hand in your keyboard at the front desk on your way out.

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#8 Bob
June 18 2010, 12:46PM
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Good article Kent. I bet some people were not aware of some of those guys you mentioned, everyone is more focused on the "bigger" names.

As for who could be in Flames colors by September...take a guess, the chances of it being right would be the same as everyone elses.

Is there a truly good dependable back-up for the Flames out there. Sure there is, but of the guys available, how many are in our price range? Even most of those who have been back-ups the majority of their career would be hoping to make more than the Flames can currently afford.

There are a few names on your list that could end up here, as it makes more sense to me to get someone with experience for 2 years and let our prospects develope in Abbotsford, but it all comes down to $$$. There could always be the chance that Darryl looks at someone else's AHL team and attempts a trade for one of their goaltenders if he thinks they're ready for back-up NHL duty.

In regards to our goaltending prospects...I think in the past year David Shantz has made a case for himself to be our best bet. He made huge strides in Abbotsford late in the season and I think alot of people will remember his preseason performance at the Saddledome where he was great in allowing Fleury to get the shoot-out win. I hope he continues to improve and raise some eyebrows again this year.

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#9 Lawrence
June 18 2010, 12:58PM
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@RO ...perhaps we should just be playing with 6 men and pull the goalie if they're so insignificant? We get it, you've got a burr under your saddle against goalies. We understand that you think it's all dice and playing cards, but for your benefit, because you have insight and tons to contribute, don't allow your lack of valuing goalies to result in people discounting everything you say. It's rapidly heading that direction.

There is little reason to "assume" Kipper is going to be "no good". We argued this all last year...were you correct? No, not even close. Full Stop.

I do however agree that making it an objective to limit Kipper to 60 games or so, is silly. What we need is a capable backup, one who can handle games and perform well in them. We don't need to limit Kipper, we need a goalie who can demand games from him.

That brings us to this post: Re: backups. The Halak move is surprising in some ways, and in others not...but as you've pointed out Kent, probably good for the Flames as Mason will now be the #1 or #2 candidate to go to a Philly for example.

We've got 10-11 teams whose goaltending situation is probably unlikely to change and about 20 teams looking for a number two guy and about 10 worthwhile bets, most of whom you've listed Kent.

I'm a big fan of Sanford as a back-up and thought last year the Flames should have made a serious pitch at him, and I think he'll be available again this year.

I don't see us being able to grab Nitty, Ellis, Hedberg, Biron or Leighton. We don't want Emery, Dubielewicz or Sabourin.

So, it's up to Sutter to go gung-ho for Sanford, Auld, or Harding.

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#10 Marcus
June 18 2010, 12:59PM
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I'd take a run at antero and drop some dead weight 3rd liner where we have a bounty of. as Daz learned with McE, having just anyone as a back-up can cost you a playoff berth and if he waits deep into the summer I hope the gamble pays off.

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#11 SInCity1976
June 18 2010, 01:01PM
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@R O

Random internet stat and I am to lazy to validate it. However, apparently only 5 goalies in history have every brought their team a Stanley Cup after playing more then 65 regular season games.

I think a case can be made to trade Kipper (though I don't agree). However, I don't think you should go into the season expecting to play him 70+ games.

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#12 Graham
June 18 2010, 01:22PM
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Assuming that you have a backup that gets a chance to play 15 games, what do we expect from those games? A 50/50 record gives you 15 out of the thirty points, a 40/60 record gives you 12/30, 30/70 record 9 points etc...

The real question is how much are those points worth, a decent backup puts you at least in the 50/50 range, but is going to cost a lot more than the backup who can maybe win 35% - 40% of the games.

If your backup plays 15 games how much are you willing to pay for the potential to earn an extra 3 points? (15 vs 12 points)

Could the extra? say $500,000 for a decent backup be more valuable than an extra $500,000 to potentially upgrade a forward? Would a better forward score enough to win a couple of extra games?

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#13 Lawrence
June 18 2010, 01:40PM
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To make my case for Sanford, who played in the AHL last year unfortunately, I've tried to find my previous post about the guy but to no avail.

He's 30 years old...couldn't land a job in the bigs last year (why not...I have no idea).

He's rumored to be great in the locker room, a good guy when he played in Vancouver, which is home for me, so I heard much about him.

In the NHL (05-09) he's played 100 games exactly (25/season avg.) faced 1795 EV shots against and saved 1642 for an EV SV% of .915.

Pre lockout he played 8 games and had a .940 ev sv%

Last year he was stuck in the AHL on a pretty good Hamilton team, being the third string behind Price and Halak (so no opportunities in the NHL)

He was 2.13 .916% in the reg. season and 2.02 .925 in the playoffs. EV stats unknown, but pretty solid. 600k salary

I said it last year and I say it again this year: Of the guys I see us able to sign, he's the guy I want.

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#14 Grant F
June 18 2010, 01:43PM
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For me this has nothing to do with money - rather the Flames are going to have to find someone who is happy playing behind a workhorse like Kipper.

Even if you assume the Flames cut back his starts this year - the #2 still knows he's not playing a lot and won't be getting into the big games.

So that wipes out any of the former number 1s and 1bs (Biron, Antero Niittymaki, etc). I think Backlund is also off the market - having re-signed with Philly (not that he was much of an option).

Ultimately for a lot of reasons I think you'll see the Flames with the same type of crappy back-up they've had the last few years - so someone like Dany Sabourin.

Ugh.

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#15 Bob
June 18 2010, 02:05PM
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Lawrence wrote:

To make my case for Sanford, who played in the AHL last year unfortunately, I've tried to find my previous post about the guy but to no avail.

He's 30 years old...couldn't land a job in the bigs last year (why not...I have no idea).

He's rumored to be great in the locker room, a good guy when he played in Vancouver, which is home for me, so I heard much about him.

In the NHL (05-09) he's played 100 games exactly (25/season avg.) faced 1795 EV shots against and saved 1642 for an EV SV% of .915.

Pre lockout he played 8 games and had a .940 ev sv%

Last year he was stuck in the AHL on a pretty good Hamilton team, being the third string behind Price and Halak (so no opportunities in the NHL)

He was 2.13 .916% in the reg. season and 2.02 .925 in the playoffs. EV stats unknown, but pretty solid. 600k salary

I said it last year and I say it again this year: Of the guys I see us able to sign, he's the guy I want.

I agree...Sanford would be a good addition and I think even if the team had their doubts about him and didn't play up to par (Like thats NEVER happened to one of our back-ups), he has that ability to keep the game close (As we saw in Vancouver when Luongo was down).

I want to go back to that Halak trade to St. Louis. If that's what Gauthier accepted for Halak...why aren't we offering up Kotalik and Sarich for Cammie and Subban? Would Pierre think we're offering too much? No problem, if the habs throw in some hockey sticks I'll put my Pavel Brendl Hitmen Collector Puck into the mix to finalize the deal!

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#16 Bob
June 18 2010, 02:11PM
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Yes, a case could always be made to trade Kipper as he has the most value on the team (though I don't advise it any more than you do).

Would you want to pull the trigger on that deal? Would Boston give up their #2 overall pick and Tim Thomas for Kipper and one of our high $$$ wastes? Would anyone want that to happen? That type of scenario is the only thing I could see validating a trade. Getting a #1 center, top line winger or top 5 draft pick for Kipper might be worth it...but then who do we have in net?? I can't think of any upcoming UFA's that fit the bill or even any current #1 goalies signed who I would want to replace him.

As it stands for me...Kipper & Gio are the main untouchables on this team right now.

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#17 Bob
June 18 2010, 02:14PM
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Bob wrote:

Yes, a case could always be made to trade Kipper as he has the most value on the team (though I don't advise it any more than you do).

Would you want to pull the trigger on that deal? Would Boston give up their #2 overall pick and Tim Thomas for Kipper and one of our high $$$ wastes? Would anyone want that to happen? That type of scenario is the only thing I could see validating a trade. Getting a #1 center, top line winger or top 5 draft pick for Kipper might be worth it...but then who do we have in net?? I can't think of any upcoming UFA's that fit the bill or even any current #1 goalies signed who I would want to replace him.

As it stands for me...Kipper & Gio are the main untouchables on this team right now.

My bad...this was in response to SIncity's post and I goofed and didn't include his statement @ RO.

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#18 R O
June 18 2010, 02:34PM
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Why should he always be relied upon to be the difference maker?

He makes nearly $6M in cap dollars and more than that in real $$.

Go play 80 NHL games as a goaltender, complete with facing 30+ shots a night, acrobatic manouvers, on your feet for 3 straight periods while the other skaters get to sit between shifts, and don't forget to factor in travel and practice times. Once you've done that...get back to us!!

I didn't realize the alternative to Kiprusoff was an average Joe on the street. I thought we were talking real here, i.e. NHL goaltenders?

perhaps we should just be playing with 6 men and pull the goalie if they're so insignificant? We get it, you've got a burr under your saddle against goalies. We understand that you think it's all dice and playing cards, but for your benefit, because you have insight and tons to contribute, don't allow your lack of valuing goalies to result in people discounting everything you say. It's rapidly heading that direction.

Oops, I thought we're talking about the difference between two NHL goalies and not about the difference between an NHL goalie and a pylon.

My bad, I'll start talking about video-game hockey from here on out.

There is little reason to "assume" Kipper is going to be "no good". We argued this all last year...were you correct? No, not even close. Full Stop.

Why? His career numbers don't exactly flatter him, the midpoint of the expectation for betting men is that he won't be elite this season. I mean Christ I may not have been correct about Kipper's performance in one universe (he got lucky) but I am right about the whole population of goalies.

I mean what is this, build a team full of one-year wonders, year after year?

Random internet stat and I am to lazy to validate it. However, apparently only 5 goalies in history have every brought their team a Stanley Cup after playing more then 65 regular season games.

That doesn't really show anything, at all. Cup Wins are so much more affected by puck luck and skating strength.

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#19 walkinvisible
June 18 2010, 03:07PM
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facing halak four times a year is not gonna be fun but as good as he might be, i have to say that i'm happy that lars eller won't be facing us as often.

i was at the nov.5 game at scottrade where eller scored his first nhl goal, and i will admit that he was MEMORABLY active that night. he had an awesome game and i remember thinking "this kid's got a helluva future." then i totally forgot about him until the trade....

while halak had an amazing run through the playoffs, he's been a hot-and-cold goaltender for a few seasons now.... realistically, i think it's entirely possible that montreal got the better deal, here, even if halak signs on longterm with the blues.

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#20 Dave
June 18 2010, 03:33PM
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Personally, I think Anterro Nittymaki will be the backup next year. He's got the talent, for sure. He's got the experience, having played in over 150 NHL games, mostly with the Flyers. He's also got some international experience. When Kipper decided to sit out the 2006 Olympics, Nittymaki was the guy who led the Finnish team to a silver medal. He's got that Finnish connection with Kipper, and I think that he'll benefit playing behine the best goaltender in the world.

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#21 Nolan
June 18 2010, 03:39PM
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While there are a number of grade b goalies available only Auld peaks my interest, the rest are either getting up there in age or will want more than the Flames are willing to pay. I dont see anything wrong with playing 70+ games but, it helps pschyologically for the team to have a proven back up and a rested starter. Kipper can handle it but he's getting up there in age. My guess is, come September someone like Schultz, Keetley or Irving will be up here as the back up with $500,000 going in their bank account to sit on the pine, as the team wont' be able to afford much more than that.

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#22 Cody
June 18 2010, 03:40PM
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Dave wrote:

Personally, I think Anterro Nittymaki will be the backup next year. He's got the talent, for sure. He's got the experience, having played in over 150 NHL games, mostly with the Flyers. He's also got some international experience. When Kipper decided to sit out the 2006 Olympics, Nittymaki was the guy who led the Finnish team to a silver medal. He's got that Finnish connection with Kipper, and I think that he'll benefit playing behine the best goaltender in the world.

Tottaly agree. If you look at Nittymaki's stats from last year, he had a .909 sv% and a 2.87 GAA. He also had a 21-18-5 record on a Tampa team that had the 5th worst record in the entire leagues. No brainer

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#23 craig
June 18 2010, 03:42PM
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@Nolan

Its Shantz, not Schultz

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#24 Nolan
June 18 2010, 03:56PM
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Yup, sorry, was talking to a client named shultz at the time i wrote this.

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#25 Lawrence
June 18 2010, 05:16PM
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Goalies with 7000+ ev shots against since '98-99:

Of course that should say:

Goalie's with 9000+ ev shots against since '98-'99

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#26 Lawrence
June 18 2010, 05:22PM
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Nope, ^^^ that's not what I meant to correct either.

The comparison is 7000+ ev sa...so that I can include Hasek. In which Kipper is fifth.

He is fourth if you look at 9000+ ev sa in terms of sv%.

Hasek didn't play the volume of his games when the ev sa and sv% stats were kept.

So, the five goalies are the top five with 7000+ ev sa, but Kipper fits into another group of four with 9000+ ev sa, with the other three being Luongo, Giguere and Vokoun.

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#27 Nolan
June 18 2010, 05:26PM
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To say that you shouldnt count the Keenan years towards his ev is like saying that Brent was the reason the Flames couldnt score this year. . . wait I think thats' true too.

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#28 Lawrence
June 18 2010, 05:46PM
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Nolan wrote:

To say that you shouldnt count the Keenan years towards his ev is like saying that Brent was the reason the Flames couldnt score this year. . . wait I think thats' true too.

Yes, it's true. I'm not really advocating doing that, I'm firmly convinced that larger the sample size the better.

It's more the idea that RO thinks Kipper was a "one-year" wonder.

To me it looks like a pretty damn good career, being fourth of fifth on that list depending on where you draw the line in fairness to Hasek.

My point with the Keenan outlier anyway was that I haven't found a goalie with better than this line of stats:

5000+ ev sa - .935sv% at any point in any goalies career since they have tracked the stat.

So, that means that Kipper has had at least four of the most dominant even strength years on record, not just "one"

his whole career sure ain't bad either.

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#29 Bob
June 18 2010, 06:49PM
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Lawrence wrote:

Yes, it's true. I'm not really advocating doing that, I'm firmly convinced that larger the sample size the better.

It's more the idea that RO thinks Kipper was a "one-year" wonder.

To me it looks like a pretty damn good career, being fourth of fifth on that list depending on where you draw the line in fairness to Hasek.

My point with the Keenan outlier anyway was that I haven't found a goalie with better than this line of stats:

5000+ ev sa - .935sv% at any point in any goalies career since they have tracked the stat.

So, that means that Kipper has had at least four of the most dominant even strength years on record, not just "one"

his whole career sure ain't bad either.

I think RO just isn't a big fan of goaltenders, for whatever reason. We all have our favorite type of player and RO does not value goalies the same as D-men or forwards. As to why he is so down on them could be the few examples of goalies not earning their enormous salaries (Huet & Theodore as examples), but as to why the venom for Kiprusoff is something I'd prefer not to probe too deeply about...I'm not a professional.

As you pointed out Lawrence the numbers are there to support him being top 5 in the league every year in most categories. While I look at numbers too, they don't tell the whole story. Any who truly watched what Kipper and the other elite players at that position have done on a regular basis...and I mean watch, not just catch the highlights on sportscenter, they know just how valuable these guys are to there teams. RO doesn't place the same value on them, and you know what, that's fine, that is RO's opinion and RO is entitled to it. But based on the numbers and what we see on a daily basis from Kipper...we know he has been this team's MVP since 20004.

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#30 dustin642
June 18 2010, 10:22PM
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Lawrence wrote:

To make my case for Sanford, who played in the AHL last year unfortunately, I've tried to find my previous post about the guy but to no avail.

He's 30 years old...couldn't land a job in the bigs last year (why not...I have no idea).

He's rumored to be great in the locker room, a good guy when he played in Vancouver, which is home for me, so I heard much about him.

In the NHL (05-09) he's played 100 games exactly (25/season avg.) faced 1795 EV shots against and saved 1642 for an EV SV% of .915.

Pre lockout he played 8 games and had a .940 ev sv%

Last year he was stuck in the AHL on a pretty good Hamilton team, being the third string behind Price and Halak (so no opportunities in the NHL)

He was 2.13 .916% in the reg. season and 2.02 .925 in the playoffs. EV stats unknown, but pretty solid. 600k salary

I said it last year and I say it again this year: Of the guys I see us able to sign, he's the guy I want.

Honestly, I always assumed Sanford was a bum (you know, for his having played for the Canucks and all) but after seeing these numbers I would be happy to see him in a Flames Jersey.

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#31 RossCreekNation
June 18 2010, 11:13PM
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Just to throw out some names from the KHL:

Robert Esche
Mikael Tellqvist
Nolan Schaefer
Jeff Glass
Rostislav Stana
Martin Gerber
Jan Lasak

Slim pickin's.

Some other's that could potentially be available (imo):

Brian Boucher
Brian Elliot
Jason Labarbera/Al Montoya
Erik Ersberg
Scott Clemmensen
Justin Pogge
Hannu Toivenen

I said it last summer and I'll say it again... I'd like Ty Conklin.

*Perhaps you "missed" him on purpose, but I didn't see any mention of Manny Legace*

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#32 Shaun
June 19 2010, 01:05AM
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We should get Conklin just to throw him in the Winter Classic (Canadian version). That would keep the streak alive wouldn't it?

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#33 B
June 19 2010, 01:21AM
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walkinvisible wrote:

facing halak four times a year is not gonna be fun but as good as he might be, i have to say that i'm happy that lars eller won't be facing us as often.

i was at the nov.5 game at scottrade where eller scored his first nhl goal, and i will admit that he was MEMORABLY active that night. he had an awesome game and i remember thinking "this kid's got a helluva future." then i totally forgot about him until the trade....

while halak had an amazing run through the playoffs, he's been a hot-and-cold goaltender for a few seasons now.... realistically, i think it's entirely possible that montreal got the better deal, here, even if halak signs on longterm with the blues.

...I agree. Eller has HUGE upside. Price is not the troll everyone seems to paint him as. I think once he settles down he'll be fine. As for the Flames backup situation, I'm not sure what goalie we will get. Bringing in Makki seems logical and plausible though.

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#34 marty
June 19 2010, 08:52AM
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i also wonder if the team goes with another young goalie (shantz) just because it didn't work with curtis doesnt mean it wont work with him. he looked decent at camp last year and carried the load for the heat in the second half and the playoffs. i can't make up my mind tho if it is beneficial for him to carry the mail in abbotsford or come up and continue to develope under mikka. i understand the workload will be less but learning from kipper could prove very valuable as well. nittymaki intrigues me a bit as well if the price is right.

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#35 Austin
June 19 2010, 10:29AM
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My picks for backup goalies: Hedberg-Sanford-Esche (if he's willing to come back over because he is getting up there in age)- or bring up Shantz or Keetley (preferrably Shantz) from the minors.

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#36 Nolan
June 19 2010, 12:57PM
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I dont' see the team picking up a proven back up mostly for cap issues. I have heard time and time again that this year will be the year GM's will wise up to not taking on bad contracts from other teams. Now signing players to bad contracts, thats what GM's do best, just ask Darryl. I was one of the one's who last year was calling for the trade of Mikka, but now i dont think you can trade him. Not just because of contract issues but because you have nothing else.

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#37 Lawrence
June 21 2010, 10:14AM
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First, for the desire of accuracy, I wanted to come back and clarify something.

I re-calculated some numbers for the much-maligned Miikka vs the competition. It is no longer true what I say about our stalwart net-minder as he doesn't possess the best stretch of 5000+ ev SA over any 4 seasons.

That honour now belongs to Tomas Vokoun on the strength of last years Vezina deserving season.

1. Vokoun - 5227/5583 - .936 ('10,09,07,06) 2. Kiprusoff - 4968/5316 - .935 ('10,07,06,04) 3. Luongo - 5189/5560 - .933 ('09,08,04,01)

Vokoun's numbers are incredible as he seems to get better with age. Kipper's are interrupted by the Keenan two bad seasons...which I should clarify is really only one, as .919 is hardly awful, but it is below his career numbers. Luongo's get spread out a bit more, showing longevity. Giguere and Brodeur don't even come close.

So that we can finally put this garbage to rest about Miikka's performances and get to BACK-UPS. It can be plainly seen that in Miikka's short career, which is basically 6 seasons long.

1. He's been next to the best, or the best, for 4 of those years. - .935 2. He had one average year. - .919 (.005 below career numbers, .008 below CGY numbers) 3. He's had one bad season out of 6. -.909 which based on the numbers can be in part confidently attributed to problems with Keenan.

So, now we can finally get back to Back-ups. The point of this post. Not sure why, it quickly turned to slamming/defending Kipper.

IMHO there are three criteria to be filled for the successful acquisition for the back-up role:

1.

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#38 Lawrence
June 21 2010, 10:15AM
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Cut off my comment again. I'm too wordy I guess

IMHO there are three criteria to be filled for the successful acquisition for the back-up role:

1.

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#39 Lawrence
June 21 2010, 10:16AM
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Bad HTML I guess:

1. less than 1mil contract. We're currently 10th in the league in cap hit for goalies, and lacking an entire goalie. 5 of those ten teams ahead of us have two goalies signed, so we're not in bad shape. If we can get someone for around 750k, we will come in at ~6.58, probably good for around just above league average (12th-14th). Not bad considering we get well above league average goaltending from Miikka.

2. A back-up who has played 100+ nhl games. We went through the 'newbie' scenario with McL, and it doesn't work. Curtis needed to see more action to build confidence, technique and most importantly composure. No one will get 'more action' playing behind Kipper...so we need someone who has experience, who no matter how good he is, is actually ready to go when he needs to be.

3.Someone who is consistent. This may be the hardest to ensure, but we need a back-up who is tranquilo. No one is going to compete for Kipper's job, so we don't need that. We just need consistently decent goaltending so that the team knows what to expect when the number 2 is in there. Just simply reliable, not spectacular...just good enough. A .915 ev sv% back-up is fine, they don't have to be Tukka Rask. In otherwords, we don't want the goalie's equivalent of a streaky scorer. We just need a '16-goal-guy' type of goalie, who chips in once every 5 games.

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#40 Luc
June 21 2010, 12:16PM
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Bob wrote:

Yes, a case could always be made to trade Kipper as he has the most value on the team (though I don't advise it any more than you do).

Would you want to pull the trigger on that deal? Would Boston give up their #2 overall pick and Tim Thomas for Kipper and one of our high $$$ wastes? Would anyone want that to happen? That type of scenario is the only thing I could see validating a trade. Getting a #1 center, top line winger or top 5 draft pick for Kipper might be worth it...but then who do we have in net?? I can't think of any upcoming UFA's that fit the bill or even any current #1 goalies signed who I would want to replace him.

As it stands for me...Kipper & Gio are the main untouchables on this team right now.

that thought is interesting.... would boston (with the rise of tuuka rask) be interested in attaining kipper?? what would they give up?? do you think we could swing a kipper + (insert bad contract here) = top pick / first live forward and goalie??

or would any team for that matter be interested in kippers contract. i love him but if he can bring in someone that makes sense for us, then id be for a trade. i guess question is who / how high of a pick??

or would be dead in the water without kipper back there?

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