In a rather uneventful weekend for the Calgary Flames, they managed to pull off one minor deal, sending the 163rd pick overall (6th round) to the San Jose Sharks for 6-5, 215lb. goaltender Henrik Karlsson.
The last time Darryl Sutter and the Calgary Flames hooked up with Doug Wilson and the San Jose Sharks to swap a draft pick for a tender, the Flames stole Miikka Kiprusoff. Could lightning strike twice? With Swedish goalies becoming en vogue, can the Swedish ‘behemoth’ become "King Henrik the Second"?
Ah… no… not likely. (Betchya thought I was crazy there for a second, lol).
Karlsson, 25, played last season in Farjestads BK Karlstad of the SEL, his first full season in the Elite League. He saw 1,934 minutes of action over 34 games collecting 3 shutouts with a 2.45 GAA and a .914 SV%. Some other "household" names in Farjestads: former Blues forward Lubos Bartecko, former Bruins 3rd rounder Lee Goren, former Oilers 6th rounder Dragan Umicevic, former Red Wing 9th rounder Mikael Johansson, and everyone’s favorite former Flames 1st rounder – the immortal Jesper Mattsson.
Karlsson originally signed a one year contract with the San Jose Sharks last August. Less than two weeks ago, Karlsson signed a one year deal with the KHL’s Dynamo Riga, saying "Russia has always been a bit of a dream". Sharks fans over at Fear The Fin seemed rather bummed about this news, but I’m sure they’re "super-pumped" about turning a free agent signing that was destined for the KHL into a "sure-fire" shot-in-the-dark 6th round pick.
Here’s what The Hockey News has to say about him:
ASSETS: Has impressive size at 6-5, 215 pounds, so he can cover a lot of net. Is also strong technically and a fairly cool customer under fire.
FLAWS: Needs more experience against stronger competition in order to be ready for the NHL game. Must also work on his lateral movement.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Backup goaltender with starting upside.
Kent already shared his thoughts on the deal in his Flames 2010 Draft Review:
A huge, older goalie out of Sweden, Karlsson has never made a trip across the pond despite being 27 years old. He’s been playing in the SEL for each of the last two seasons, managing SV% of .929 and .914 respectively. He may get a look in training camp as a back-up, although his total lack of NHL experience and lack of experience even in the SEL (relative to his age) suggests to me that this is more a system depth mvoe than anything else.
While I tend to agree with Kent, I’m somehow hoping Karlsson is a diamond-in-the-rough just waiting to snatch an NHL job. Actually, if I’m going to hope for something, how about a legitimate backup goalie via trade or free agency… *THEN* we can turn the David Shantz’ and Matt Keetley’s of the world into a 1st line center… right?
Here’s an audio link for an interview FAN960’s Rob Kerr had with the newest member of the Flames
Good luck in Abbotsford, you sly-looking Swede!
Who knows… Antti Niemi was a relative unknown up until his NHL debut 16 months ago. He worked as a FREAKIN part-time zamboni driver from 2000-2005!
Oh… and I’m sure Darryl Sutter is just waiting until tomorrow to let us all know that Jason Spezza is coming to Calgary and that the reason for such delay was that Bryan Murray was adamant that Matthew Stajan and Steven Staios be apart of the deal… riiiiiiiiite…