Flames recall Joni Ortio from Stockton Heat

When Karri Ramo left with still three minutes to go in regulation against the San Jose Sharks, it didn’t look good. Unable to skate off under his own power or put weight on his leg, it was confirmed Ramo wouldn’t even be in the lineup for the second of the Flames’ back-to-back, let alone actually take the ice.

To that end, Ramo has been placed on the injured reserve. The Flames have recalled Joni Ortio, who was originally waived and sent down to the Stockton Heat back on Nov. 26.

Ortio currently has .893 save percentage through 20 games with the Heat: a far cry from the .912 he posted with the Adirondack Flames the season before, and an even further cry from the .926 he posted with the Abbotsford Heat in his rookie AHL season.

His most recent action came on Feb. 9, when he replaced Kevin Poulin after the other goalie gave up five goals and 28 shots 29:28 through the game. Ortio played the final 30:32, surrendering another two goals on 20 shots in the Heat’s 7-3 loss.

The last game Ortio started was on Feb. 5, three games ago in Stockton’s calendar. He gave up four goals on 21 shots.

Recalling Ortio over Poulin, who has a .913 save percentage over 12 games with the Heat this season, does makes sense. Poulin was a stop gap option brought in when the organization was running out of goalies; Ortio, drafted in 2009, has been with the Flames organization for years. The Flames have invested their time in developing him, have seen his NHL debut and his potential – and with Ortio an upcoming RFA, they need to know just who they have, and whether or not he’ll even be in the Flames’ future plans.

Of course, it’s entirely possible Ortio doesn’t start any games. He stayed up with the Flames for nearly two months as the team’s third string goaltender, and only played in four games, just two of which he actually started. Most of his time was spent in the pressbox, and even when Ramo was down in the AHL, Ortio was backing up on the bench more than anything else.

Ramo being on the injured reserve means he’s out at least a week, but it looks like his injury could keep him out longer than that. The Flames play three games between now and next Friday, with a fourth coming exactly a week from now. They’re all spread out, so it would hardly be surprising to see Jonas Hiller get the start for all of them.

  • Danomitee

    My old man’s from pei, and he wants to call up MacDonald. Now I completely disagree, I wasn’t to impressed with this guy in the World Juniors but then again that team wasn’t very good all around. Just wondering if anyone knows what the rules are for emergency or CHL call ups?

  • MattyFranchise

    At this point I think you are putting too much effort into these call up articles.

    You should just put: Ortio got recalled, but he won’t get any games so it doesn’t really matter.

  • Kevin R

    WTF is it with the Flames, it’s goaltenders & the TDL. Another year we could probably get some value for one of our UFA goalies only to be whammed with a horrible timed injury. We really have no choice, we have to keep Hiller & no one is going to be trading for Ramo, who may have been the perfect fit for the Canadiens. We could finish last & we will never win the lottery to get a 1st over all pick. Oh well. Hiller looked like he just won the lottery in his interview last night, with good reason, he finally gets a chance to showcase himself for a contract this summer. Im actually happy for him. This is Ortio’s chance to show why he should get a contract this summer as well.

  • Ken V.

    Well, with Hiller and Orts as our pairing, we can now rest easy and finally come to our senses on this season. The only reason we were in the discussion was because Ramo has been giving us no.1 goaltending. Take that away and we should now be looking at the draft conversation instead. Almost more excited for the latter as well. If we can eke out a few and Ramo comes back healthy – BIG “if’s” – then maybe we limp in and make noise but that’s the homer in me.

  • Ken V.

    The last time Ortio was up was in October when we were without TJ, Gio was finding his way after a major injury, Dougie Hamilton was breaking into a new team, city, teammates, coaches…If he starts this time around the team in front of him should be much better…

    I am a little concerned with his spotty play in Stockton though…

  • brodiegio4life

    Remember last year he was brought up and stood on his head when given a chance. I don’t discount that he could do it again. The whole team is playing better than last we saw him.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Until the Flames are eliminated from the playoffs, Hartley will continue to go with the guys that give him the best chance to win (at least in his opinion). On one hand, you can’t blame him as his job security is ultimately tied to on-ice performance. On the other hand, this is a young team with assets that need to be properly assessed.

    Forget seeing anyone that will help with wins until the team is out. No Nakladal, no Ortio, no AHLers.

  • amaninvan

    Does this mean the team will have to bring in another goaltender to fill out the roster on the farm?

    As for Ortio, he has shown he can be a good goaltender in the past, here is likely his last chance to show the team he belongs. The team will probably run with Hiller for a while (he has been lights out lately), but I don’t think Ortio will be simply bench warming. If Ramo is out for an extended amount of time, Hiller is bound to have a typical off game, will likely need replacing at some point, and Ortio will get his chance. Lets hope the kid can recreate his performance last year when he went on that glorious run.

  • BigRig91

    If the flames are still going on the “always earned never giving ” then Poulin would have got the call. His number as night and day better. But they probably want to see ortio one more time before the season is over.

  • RKD

    Should be Poulin, if Ortio is struggling in the AHL I would think he will struggle up here. He’s got to go a long way to give the Flames decent goaltending. I know goalies develop late but I feel like we have a lot of problems developing goalies. I look at Brent Krahn then Leland Irving. When was the last time the Flames developed their own guy and he turned into something solid? You would have to go way back to find that.

  • Guy had a shut out against the ‘nucks about a yr ago.

    He’s cool in my club house so the guys’ll give him some sweg. If he takes it and runs with it is another story. I’m betting he steals starts from limp dude.

  • Hiller played spectacular in the last 3 minutes of regulation, and 3:3, in relief of the injured Ramo. He was unable to continue that stance into the next game against Arizona. This inconsistancy and playing below expectations will leave Mr. Hiller abandoned outside the organization in his UFA on July1st. I suspect even Ramo will not have a contract offered to him. My bet is Calgary goes with 2 rookie netminders, or Ortio + whatever comes cheaply across the waiver wire. Ortio has the net for the rest of the season or until Ramo returns. See Ortio step up against the Ducks in Honda Center and get Calgary’s first win there in (how many?) years!

  • amaninvan

    And yeah, Hiller going from hero to goat was hard to watch.
    Hopefully he’s motivated for the next week or two leading up to the trade deadline. Pretty sure he wants a new chance, too.