TSN reporting this morning that Kiprusoff has opted to remain in calgary for the rest of the season and will likely retire in the off-season.
It’s a disappointing end to the Kipper saga, even if we assume the return from Toronto was going to be marginal. When I was penning "trade Kipper" articles in the past, this was my ultimate fear – that the team would hang on until the asset was drained of all value. I’m not going to begrudge Kiprusoff this final stand, but it’s astonishing how completely the Flames former cornerstones have crumbled with almost nothing to show for it. Right now, the best return for a former core player (aside from a couple of first round picks) is…Lee Stempniak.
Since 2010, the Calgary organization has shed Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regher, Daymond Langkow, Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester and (soon) Miikka Kiprusoff and all they have to show for that collection of formerly high priced, high-valued players is a collection of middling prospects, the aforementioned picks, Lee Stempniak, Chris Butler and Matt Stajan. What a disaster.
The Flames inability to draft and groom their own players internally is a big reason they stand on the percipience of the abyss currently, but make no mistake – the club’s almost total failure to appropriately leverage their high-end pieces is another big issue.