Vesa's Gone?

Pat Steinberg
August 09 2010 05:52PM

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 14: Goalie Vesa Toskala #35 of the Calgary Flames stops Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks while on a breakaway during the second period of NHL action on March 14, 2010 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

We all knew Vesa Toskala wouldn't be a member of the Calgary Flames for this upcoming season, as GM Darryl Sutter said as much following the season.  However, it now seems Vesa won't find employment period in the NHL, as various reports have him bolting for the Swedish Elite League.

Don't know how many people were really clamouring for his return to Calgary for this season, even though his results weren't terrible in his short stint here.  In fact, he posted a 2-0 record with the Flames, and finished with a 9-12-3 record overall split between Toronto and Calgary (he was also with the Ducks for a short time).  His third start came on March 21st, where he let in three goals on 12 shots before getting the hook...however, Miikka Kiprusoff would end up taking the loss in that game.  His performance that afternoon seemed to lower the confidence of the coaching staff when it came to using him, as he didn't start again.

Probably a few reasons why Toskala is headed across the Atlantic.  First, the feeling was he wanted to be a number one guy in the NHL.  It wasn't exactly a goalies market this summer, as Toskala's former teammate Evgeni Nabokov realized early.  Nabby's bolt to Russia kind of set the stage for the lack of big money offers on former number ones this off season. 

Second, his reported Swedish destination (Farjestad) is in need of a goaltender.  Robin Rahm was given a two year ban from hockey after testing positive for a banned substance, so it meant a search was on.  Probably wouldn't be a stretch to think Farjestad made a pretty sweet offer to bring Toskala in.

Good luck Vesa, we hardly knew thee in Calgary.  Not like all that many will be reaching for the tissue box.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 Marcus
August 09 2010, 11:51PM
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Prediction: if Karlsson doesnt work out, Sutter resigns him next year for $500K

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#3 Gange
August 10 2010, 08:49AM
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At least now I don't have to worry about a 3 year 9 million dollar deal for Toskala.

Or do I?

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#4 Reidja
August 10 2010, 08:55AM
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I wasn't surprised to not see him back because it seemed that he was added at the deadline solely to help us make the playoffs. No tear in my beer to see him gone. Especially since we've got one of the best goaltending situations in the league with a guy who's averaged 75 games, 0.914 Pct, 2.42 GAA and 40.2 wins/season over the last 5 seasons. I look at the signing of Karlsson as extra insurance for the job of succeeding Kipper in a couple of years. The way I see it, we're going to need one of our prospects to step-up and take a larger back-up role in 2012/13 when Kipper's salary is 5 mil and I'll bet that he won't be starting 75 games. I'm thinking that 2013/14 will be the transition year (Kippers salary 1.5) when one of our prospects will be chosen as heir. I don't think Toskla was a fit for our situation bit Karlsson, coming over from a league with way fewer games and likely requiring substantial acclimatization to the culture, gives us another candidate to succeed king Kipper.

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#5 Marcus
August 10 2010, 02:36PM
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@Pat Steinberg

Your right, im sure salary did play a role, but he did say he wanted to be a number one lol. In cgy, as a backup & at a back-up salary he'd be formidable. Kind of like Jokinen at 3mill as opposed to five. The weirdest thing of all is that Vesa is replacing Karlsson at Farjestad. So that must mean Karlsson is better! Sounds great!!

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