Welcome to the latest edition of What Would You Do Wednesdays, a feature here on FlamesNation where you – the reader – are put in charge of the Calgary Flames
Because of rookie net minder Joni Ortio’s recent heroics, the Flames organization is suddenly facing an unanticipated conundrum: what do we do with all these goalies? For now the club has decided to ride the hot hand and carry three puck stoppers, but that is clearly an untenable situation.
The options are trade one of the vets or demote the kid once he cools off. So what’s your preference?
Keep these facts in mind as you consider your decision:
– Ortio has been a really good pro for the last 3 years, but we still know very little about him at the NHL level. Almost any goalie can get hot for handful of games before falling back down to earth. The NHL’s consecutive shut-out record is owned by Brian Boucher for heaven’s sake.
Issue: if/when he cools off, Ortio would be relegated to back-up position in NHL for rest of the year, which is sub-optimal for a young, developing player.
– Karri Ramo has been the worst puck stopper of the three so far and his contract ends this year. He probably has enough upside as a decent back-up to get a draft pick in return and would be easy to move given his contract, but he’s also less valuable than Jonas Hiller.
Issue: Easiest to potentially move, but return likely won’t be much beyond mid-round pick. Also, trading Ramo means Ortio has to remain in the NHL for the rest of the year.
– Speaking of Hiller, the former Duck has showed he’s still an capable NHL starter prior to being usurped by Ortio. He’s signed at $4.5M through next season, which makes him a bit more difficult to move given many club’s problematic cap budgets, but he’d also be a lot more coveted if there’s a club out there looking for a starter or 1B quality goaltender.
Issue: Less flexible contract could limit trading partners. Leave Ramo and Ortio as the tandem this season in a playoff race and and abandons the relatively untested Ortio as the probable starter next year.
Finally, remember that Ortio can be still be demoted to the AHL without passing through waivers. His contract also converts to a 1-way deal next year, so the organization was clearly anticipating a natural succession plan that may merely be accelerated thanks to his success this season (Ortio in, Ramo out).
So what would do if you were Brad Treliving? Trade Ramo, trade Hiller or send Ortio for further seasoning in the AHL? Sound off in the comments.