Flames Return Joni Ortio To Abbotsford

That weird noise you just heard? That was a loud sigh coming from the Fraser Valley, as the Calgary Flames have re-assigned goalie Joni Ortio back to the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Here’s the gist of why:

  • When Karri Ramo was originally hurt pre-Olympics and Ortio was recalled on February 3th, the Flames never placed Ramo on the injured reserve. The reasoning was so that they could return Ortio to the AHL for the Olympics, which was what happened on February 9th. (You aren’t allowed to make assignments to the AHL if they make you fall below NHL roster requirements.)
  • When Ortio returned to the NHL on February 18th, it became apparent that Ramo wouldn’t be good to go and he was placed on the IR retroactive to his date of injury (February 1st). Ramo began appearing as on the IR on the NHL’s game notes after the Olympics.
  • Ortio was yo-yoed to the AHL on trade deadline day in a paper transaction so that he was eligible for the AHL playoffs, but he still occupied the roster spot that was vacated by Ramo’s injury causing an emergency roster situation at goaltender. Berra’s trade to Colorado opened a spot for them to burn a regular post-deadline recall on Joey MacDonald.
  • Ortio replaced Ramo due to injury, so he was an injury replacement recall on an emergency basis.

Most likely Calgary’s options with Karri Ramo ready to return tomorrow were (a) burn a regular recall by keeping Joni Ortio up and limit your options to give a couple other guys looks by being left with just one more recall or (b) send him down to steady Abbotsford’s netminding situation and get them ready for the playoffs.

Ortio posted a 4-4-0 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .891 save percentage in 9 games for Calgary.

Calgary will go through the last dozen games of the season with Karri Ramo (11-10-4, 2.66 GAA, .908 SV%) and Joey MacDonald (4-4-1, 3.16 GAA, .881 SV%) in the nets. Abbotsford will have Ortio (20-6-0, 2.22 GAA, .926 SV% in AHL) and Olivier Roy (7-8-1, 3.31 GAA, .901 SV% in AHL) in between the pipes as they use their last dozen games to ready themselves for what’s hopefully going to be a lengthy post-season for the Baby Flames.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

    • redricardo

      Easy there big gunner. You’re going out on a pretty big limb.

      Or you know… You’re trying out for the “Captain Obvious” commercial.

      Yeah… That’s the one.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Too bad for Ortio for this season anyway. At least he’ll see more game action in Abby. I was really hoping not to have to endure through seeing MacDonald between the pipes anymore, but then again – good for MacDonald. It’s likely his final stop in his NHL career.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Good moves for everyone concerned. Gotta hope that Ramo gets the “Let’s Tank Now” memo – though it could be a little too late for that. The four teams (15-21-4 last ten combined) below the Flames all know how to tank so a draft pick between #1 and #4 will only happen via a trade now.

    • acg5151

      Players don’t get ‘Let’s tank now’ memos because they are all fighting to stay in the NHL. A lot of them never get another shot and if they don’t bring it every game it may end up being their last. These guys know they are on a rebuilder and they want to be around when the rebuild is over for their shot at the cup as the veteran presence.

      If Ramo fails, he may not get another shot at the NHL. If he succeeds he gets to continue playing in the NHL, may earn more money, and could hold the starting job and possibly be around at the end of the rebuild. That is all Karri Ramo cares about. He does not care about the #1 or #4 or whatever high draft pick the Flames are getting because he wants to earn $$$ for himself to live the good life and provide for family. Just like real human beings – we all enjoy making bank and Karri Ramo is no exception.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Why do I feel like if Feaster had been in charge of those goalie transactions we would have ended up with Ortio claimed off waivers and Ramo in the AHL leaving MacDonald to start with Brent Krahn as the backup haha… Oh and somehow we would have also lost our first and third round picks.

    Ahh the good ol days….

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I like Ortio but I don’t think he’s ready. Close but not there. It was either Ottawa or Islanders game where you could see his area needing improvement:

    when the puck is in the paint and gets off his feet he doesn’t anchor well. He slides out of the way. Like he’s lacking strength to hold his ground and then Vancouver game he allows the guy to jam it through him. He also sometimes loses sight and feel of the puck in tight so he flails and swats pucks by sweeping the paddle while lying on the ice. Maybe I’m wrong but he’s still really young.

    But he did well. All the rooks have, which is good to establish their market value as assets.

  • RedMan

    I think this was the best situation for our goalies. I’d rather have Ortio down in Abby getting a bulk of the starts, readying himself for a (h0opefully) deep playoff run, as opposed to sitting on the bench backing up Ramo. His time will come next season, barring a significant trade or free agent signing over the summer.

  • KiLLKiND

    This just in… The flames are bad and will be bad for the next 6+ years. Either then your wonder boy Sean there really isn’t much for prospects. Bad team. The re build hasent even started. Go nucks!

  • acg5151

    A quick change of pace from crapping on this Private eye loser…..with the savvy Glen Sather having a gun to Jay Feasters head regarding the Tim Erixon situation, at the last minute Feaster was not only able to get 2 second rounders but he turned them into Marcus Granlund and Tyler Wotherspoon….wow!!

    Where is Erixon these days….AHL.

  • KiLLKiND

    I would say this worked out well Ortio can go back to Abby work on his weak ares and gain valuable experience in the playoffs. Ramo will probably be rusty and realistically he has never played lights-out for Calgary and Joey Mac gets to play likely his last bit of NHL hockey which is nice for him to be able to finis it out.

  • BurningSensation

    I like Ortio, he’s a pretty composed goalie at such a young age. Games like last night are going to happens. I’m glad Ramo will be back.
    James Reimer a Flame? I don’t know about that. He’s a decent backup, maybe he could be a starter in another market. Here? I don’t know.

    • BurningSensation

      he’s been better at stopping pucks than lehtonen, quick, lundqvist, luongo and fleury this season. i’d be hard pressed to say that isn’t starter quality.

      what makes calgary a difficult place to play, exactly? more than toronto?

      • RedMan

        I’m not sure how you are qualifying Reimer as being better than the goalies you mentioned at stopping more pucks.

        Reimer has 3.29GAA and a .910 save percentage,
        Lehtonen 2.52GAA .915%
        Quick 2.07GAA .915%
        Fleury 2.39GAA .915%
        Lundqvist 2.47GAA .917%
        Luongo 2.39GAA .919%

        Reims maybe closer in terms of save percentage and but is has a 1.30 GAA higher than the last goalie with the second highest GAA. Yes, Toronto has been poorer defensively allowing 219 goals but Dallas isn’t far behind at 201 goals allowed.

        I’m not saying Calgary isn’t the market for Reimer, he just might excel in a non-hockey market.

  • supra steve

    Burke’s style and rebuild strategy typically has been to bring in a “star” player and build around that individual. I have a feeling in my gut that is what he is going to do at the draft table. Flames fans be aware and be prepared that in order for this to happen it will involve 1-2 of our current top roster players. Speculating who that will be is just that, speculation so take your guess!

    To help ease the pain let’s remind ourselves that we are a bottom 5 team that has been underachieving and out of the playoffs since hell froze over. Arguably our top veterans consistently play well at the end of the season without playoff pressure! We are in rebuild mode and Burke, who is self proclaimed “impatient’ is going to make some drastic and for some, unpopular moves.

    Burkie…go for it!!!!

      • BurningSensation

        Perhaps…I think Burke has learned his lesson regarding giving up high draft choices…but for Kessel…go for it!

        I still see that type of trade happening but involving a couple of our top veterans!

        • supra steve

          I don’t see a couple of our top vets getting Burke much of a “star” player, not without adding promissing prospects (Jonny G, Sven B) or those picks, that I would rather not part with.

          Or, I could be wrong.

        • Jeff Lebowski

          When I watched last night, early in first I noticed how strong Kris Russell was playing, not his goal or assist. He made two really, really fantastic plays one for skill and hockey sense, the other for physical play and hockey sense:

          1- the play was in preds zone, looked like it was going out but he grabbed puck, shielded and fed a nice little pass to keep possession.
          2-play in Calgary zone, hornquist circling behind net from right to left being trailed by Calgary defender. Russell waits for him to come around then lays heavy shoulder separating puck from man.

          He’s getting on a good streak and I expect him to make a bunch if great plays for as long as he stays hot.

          I wonder how the league values him right now? To me he is just lights out. I never realized how many things he could do and smart, giving guys a step so inviting a pass and then he accelerates and takes the puck.

          He’s the number 2 in my eyes. I love Brodie but Russell is more savvy at this point.

          Anyway could Russell be part of something to get a star. Russell and Backlund? Have they increased their value that much? I love em both but Burke is Burke he’s got no connection to them ( I’m not saying he hates them, just he didn’t draft or trade for them) I know he extended Russell but 2 years?!? Not a lot of faith.

          At this point I’d be less sad with Sven getting traded from the notable kids. The others Gaudreau etc don’t know what you have, really. He can’t be rash with them. Maybe he does know? What the hell is he thinking?

          Who would you keep if you had to trade one: Sven or Johnny? Hard to know.

          • BurningSensation

            I hear you big time…your key comment is that Burke has no connection with anyone!! I only believe Monahan and perhaps Gio to be untouchables and I’m not even sure about that!

            Russell, Backs, Glenny, Sven (for sure!)…and you know Johnny would fetch you lot’s in that Eastern US market!

          • BurningSensation

            “At this point I’d be less sad with Sven getting traded from the notable kids. The others Gaudreau etc don’t know what you have, really. He can’t be rash with them. Maybe he does know? What the hell is he thinking?

            Who would you keep if you had to trade one: Sven or Johnny? Hard to know.”

            History says that Burke is typically careful with prospects, and aggressive with draft picks (both in giving them up or trading for them).

            I could see either Sven or Johnny G being dealt (really, I could see anyone but Monahan moving on), but I also think he wouldn’t do it unless he got real value back.

          • BurningSensation

            Exactly. I think Burke has already shown if he doesn’t like the return, whether the value is there or not, screw off. He turns down many deals people would say, take it for crying out loud. But that is why he can take someone to the cleaners on a deal. Personally, I would trade Sven before I even consider trading Johnny.

    • Greg

      I could see that happening. If Montreal has a sour negotiation going with Subban, that strikes me as the type of situation Burke might try to get in on. A 5th overall pick would probably be able to start the conversation. Not sure whether I’d like that to happen or not.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    To me the really interesting thing going on with this team and the kids getting chances can be gleaned from this great interview:


    In concert with this:


    In terms of Burke, his past strategy (imagine how Burke was scrutinized by Toronto hockey fans) and what he’s doing or better yet planning to do with the kids in Abby.

    Really, really interesting insider insight.