Flames head coach Ryan Huska speaks on the significance of Miikka Kiprusoff’s jersey retirement

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
4 months ago
When the Calgary Flames are brought up, the first players most hockey fans will think about are Lanny McDonald, Jarome Iginla, and Miikka Kiprusoff. Two of them have their jerseys in the rafters, and one of them will have his jersey there by the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, March 2.
Number 34 will be etched into the history of the Flames for good following his ceremony on Saturday night, having spent nine of his 12 seasons in the NHL with Calgary and winning 305 games, posting a .913 save percentage and 2.46 goals against average, being selected as an All-Star in 2006-06, and winning a Vezina Trophy and William M. Jennings trophy that season, too.
Kiprusoff is second among Finnish goaltenders for wins all-time with 319, only behind Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators, who totaled 369 for his career, and it was about time that he be honored for his contributions to the franchise.
After Wednesday’s practice, head coach Ryan Huska was asked about the players on the team right now and what it means to them to see someone like Kiprusoff, who gave his all for the organization, be honored as he will be on Saturday. He also mentioned Jarome Iginla’s jersey retirement and how some players are still on the team from when that occurred five years to the day Kiprusoff will have his jersey raised, back on March 2, 2019.
“Certain players like [Backlund] remember really well, a lot of the guys that are still here were a part of Jarome’s, and you see the emotion that’s in the building, and you see from the ceremonies and the way people speak about Kipper in this situation, there is emotion that comes with it. It’s a neat experience for players to be a part of, to see someone’s jersey get raised to the rafters.”
And, of course, there will always be emotions as the game begins, partially because of the ceremony and partially because of the crowd being ready and raring to see the puck dropped on a special night.
“Of course. I think it will, for sure. And I think having Pittsburgh here as well is another reason why there’s going to be some good energy in that building. I know our crowd is going to be really excited to see the ceremony, and I think they’ll be really excited once the game starts as well.”
All of these special moments were a long time coming for one of the best players in the history of the Flames organization, and it’s great that not only will the crowd be excited about the ceremony, but the Flames are playing well right now, sitting on a four-game win streak with victories over some very talented teams. Not only will they be able to come out and support a legendary piece of a franchise, but they’ll be able to watch a team playing good hockey right now go up against legends like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang.
Thursday, according to Huska, is a scheduled day off, and then Friday will be another practice lead up to Saturday’s game with the Penguins.
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