Crowded Crease in Calgary
The Calgary Flames entered the preseason in very odd circumstances as far as goalies go. They currently have three goalies signed to one-way contracts. What looks to be a problem is truly what teams dream of. Quality goalies pushing each other every step of the way.
Veteran goalie Jonas Hiller is currently entering the final year of his contract. The $4.5 million dollar per year, two year contract was a steal for the Flames, but many complained of inconsistency last year, although he won 26 games. Hiller went 26-19 in the regular season with a .918 save%, and a 2.36 gaa. In the post season he went 3-3, .919 save % and a 2.61 gaa. His career numbers are excellent he is 188-129 with a .917 save% and a 2.49 gaa. His career playoff numbers are an incredible .930 s% and a 2.35 gaa.
Karri Ramo was resigned over the summer to a one year $3.8 million dollar deal. Ramo played very well last season also, and was given the nod down the playoff stretch. Last season Ramo went 15-9 with a 9.11 save% and a 2.65 gaa. His post season numbers where 2-3 with a .906 save% and a 2.86 gaa. His career regular season numbers are
43-45 with a .905 save% and a 2.86 gaa, with last year being his only playoffs.
As for the youngster, Joni Ortio he is currently in the final year of a $600K salary. The catch is, this year the deal is a one-way contract. This means that if the Flames want to send him to the minors he must first pass waivers (which is very unlikely). Given his potential there is no way the Flames would ever take a chance on losing him.
It looks as though the Flames management like Ramo over Hiller, and Ortio is one of the main guys for the future. All three goalies are in the final year of their contract so some important decisions must be made. “If you look at it, they’re all in different stages,” Flames GM Brad Treliving told SportsNet. “You have hiller who has been a number one in this league a long time. Rams had kind of made a name, he’s got some experience. And you’ve got the younger guy coming up. In a perfect world you want the big guy you can ride, but ultimately you want to have good goaltending on as many nights as you can get it. If it means it’s two guys, three guys… Whatever it is.” Treliving is happy with the scenario but would like to have it down to two before the start of the season.
It looks as though Hiller will be the odd man out. The question now is who would be interested in his services? And what would the Flames get in return? It looks as though there would be some teams interested, but early indications are that the Flames would not get much in return, and may end up eating some of his contract. Time will tell on this one but the crease is crowded and someone will have to find a new home elsewhere.
* Photo by Getty Images