Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/07/13 at 11:18 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With Kiprusoff sidelined, the Flames get a glimpse into a future they know is coming, maybe sooner than expected.
Kiprusoff has just a year left on his contract, one of those “back-diving” deals the recent NHL-NHLPA labour dispute keyed on. In 2013-14, his salary drops to $1.5-million (U.S.) from $5-million. It is unclear if he’s prepared to pay for that rock-bottom number or, at 36, walk away from the NHL.
Along with team captain Jarome Iginla, Kiprusoff is one of the Flames’ two organizational beacons. In good times and bad, his goaltending gave the Flames their best chance to win most nights.
In the seven years between lockouts, Kiprusoff never played fewer than 70 games, and always won 35 or more.
He has been ultra-durable, which was why this recent injury was so unexpected. Irving (selected 26th overall in 2006) will finally get a chance to show if he’s ready for the NHL.
If it works out, the Flames get some answers to the question of life after Kiprusoff.
If it doesn’t, and the Flames (2-3-2, last in the Western Conference but only four points out of eighth) fall further off the pace, they may need to turn to Plan B and decide if this is the year they allow themselves to drift to the bottom of the standings.
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