Ramo Hints At Return



TSN has an article today featuring Flames goaltender Karri Ramo. The Omsk Avangard starter was included in the Rene Bourque deal and is reported to have a contract with his KHL club until the end of 2013.

However, some of his quotes to TSN suggest he might be able to leave for the NHL earlier:

"The feeling that I got was that I wasn’t just put in that trade as a small part of it," Ramo said during the IIHF World Hockey Championship. "Obviously, Cammalleri and Rene Bourque were the biggest (part of the) deal, but I wasn’t just left over. I definitely felt good about it, I was happy to hear it."

Ramo says he would relish the opportunity to play behind countryman Miikka Kiprusoff, who has made at least 70 appearances in seven consecutive seasons and turns 36 in October, but Ramo has one year remaining on a contract with Omsk. Even though that deal doesn’t include an out clause, Ramo can envision a scenario where he wouldn’t spend all of next year with the team. "I can’t leave right away, but you know things always change," said Ramo. "In the KHL especially."

Obviously Ramo doesn’t completely commit to finding a way across the pond prior to the end of his KHL contract, but it’s clear his priority is coming back to the NHL and becoming a starter at some point.

A former pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ramo had a rough introduction to the show as a youngster. It’s only in the last few years where he has really established himself as a quality professional goaltender. As Avangard’s starter, Ramo posted back-to-back .925 seasons in Russia, a save rate that was good for 7th overall amongst KHL goalies with 30+ games this season.

Ramo will turn 26 years old in July and has three quality seasons of pro performance under his belt in the second best league in the world. It’s completely unknown at this point how well goaltending translates from the KHL to the NHL, but given his age and recent history, Ramo is a guy who should at least challenge for the starters role in Calgary should the team part ways with Kipper.

  • Gange

    I’d love Ramo to come in and be the next incarnation of Pekka Rinne however my excitement is muted.

    It would be great to have that flexibility with goaltenders.

    All I remember of Ramo is a much touted young goalie that tended to get lit up in Tampa Bay.

  • xis10ce

    I would also love to see Ramo in a Calgary jersey, more so because we lost Patrick Holland in that trade and he seems to be on his way to being a full time NHL’er, so if Ramo hadn’t made his way to the NHL it would feel like loosing a prospect that was on his way up.

  • xis10ce

    I cant believe that there is not some sort of monetary figure plus giving them Karlsson as their starting goaltender that would not help convince Omsk to let him out of his contract.

    If Ramo comes over then I feel more than comfortable about letting Kiprusoff go in a trade.

      • SmellOfVictory

        Perhaps no infrastructure, but is there honestly something in place that would stop them from making an informal deal, mutually terminating some contracts, and allowing a swap of players/dollars?

        • Greg

          I thought NHL teams weren’t permitted to make any such transactions due to the lack of a transfer agreement. It’s probably one thing if Ramo pulls a Malkin on his own accord, but I don’t think the league can permit the flames to be a part of any deal.

  • Graham

    The more I look at our goaltending, the more I believe that we can’t trade Kipper, we just don’t have a ready replacement.
    Irving is completely untested, Karlsson is a marginal backup, and Ramo is a year away from joining the club.

    The apparent solution is to retain Kipper next season with Irving as backup, but find a way to actually get Irving into some games.
    That gives us next season to evaluate Irving. Ramo joins the club the following year, and either fights to become the starter or the backup. Much may depend on how well Irving plays next season.


    I say get rid of Danny Taylor from the Heat and make Irving the starting goalie and Karlsson the backup. Let Ramo backup Kipper (if he can get out of his contract) and see what he’s made of.

    Ideally, if we trade Kipper, I would like to see Ramo being backed up by Irving and Ortio and Brassoit developing on the farm by 2013-14.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Interesting that this is his first interview since he was traded and it comes right on the heals of a visit from John Weisbrod to Omsk. Maybe His optimism is related to Weisbrod.

  • Greg

    Why are people so reluctant to trade Kipper because we have no one ready? Keeping Kipper allows us to probably finish 10-12 next year. Trading him for prospects has us finish 13-15 and a crack at Mckinnon plus the prospects.

    • T&A4Flames

      I agree. We’re not winning anything next year or the year after or… You get my point. If Ramo was coming over for next season, I think it would be beneficial for him to get a year backing up his idol. Other than that, Kipper won’t be good enough, long enough to have him when we are ready to challenge again. I would hate to see him go, but change is inevitable. Why not speed up the process and get some good young players/prospects and maybe we get a shot at McKinnon. It took Philly one year, really. No reason we can’t follow those steps.

  • Vintage Flame

    Good read Kent.. Got me wondering as well.

    It may, and probably is, nothing more than a coincidence but I wonder if the visit from Weisbrod to Omsk was a factor in this hinting coming out.

    Also makes me wonder if then Ramo wasn’t somehow influential in Cervenka signing with the Flames with the thought that Cervenka should go to Calgary because Ramo isn’t far behind?

    … just my conspiracy theory for the day.

  • the-wolf

    @Clyde and T&A4Flames – I’ll 3rd that! There is no downside to moving Kipper or Iginla. We’re already a perpetual playoff-less club so we may as well scoop up picks/prospect s for them and then draft higher while we’re at it.

  • everton fc

    Dump Karlsson.

    Sign Danny Taylor. If Irving makes the Flames, Taylor’s earned the starting spot in Abby. He actually had a better season in some respects than Irving. Why move him? Ward likes him. He’s turned him into quite a clutch goaltender. I see him staying in Abby. If we keep Karlsson, keep him in Abby w/Taylor. If not

    If we can pickup someone like Vokoun cheap, we can move Kipper and see what we have in Irving. If Irving can prove worthy, you can give him the same amount of contests as Vokoun. Remember, it’s a rebuild. We are planning for the future, not “now”. You work on getting Ramo for the 2nd half of 2013, if you can…

    And don’t forget Laurent Brossoit. He could be a real sleeper in two-three years…

  • RKD

    Not surprised, Ramo is itching to be a starter in the NHL. The nice thing about playing in the KHL is that you could probably go there and improve your game without having to worry too much about distractions and pressure. Not sure what the media is like over there.

    The Flames would probably keep Kipper for another season and let Irving back up. Hopefully, the new coach will play Kipper 65-70 games.

    I think upper brass is reluctant to trade Kipper because Irving may not be quite ready yet.

    Irving hasn’t supplanted Kipper like Schneider did in Vancouver. A lot of people are for trading Kipper, but not a lot would be ready to say start Irving over Kipper.

    If they could get Ramo at the start of the season then it would be a different story.

  • everton fc

    VF, I’m all over that conspiracy theory as well. I cant help but think that link between Cervenka & Ramos is there & had abig part where he signed. I also cant help but think negotiations are under way to getting Ramos over for the start of next year. They are probably putting a push on it so they can move Kipper knowing Ramos will be here to play with Leiland. If they dont fair too well, whatever, like Wolf, worst case scenario, lets get in the Mackinnon sweepstakes or a lottery pick to play with Sven. If Kipper gets traded, Iggy is a trade deadline behind, if not sooner.