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Vesa Toskala turned down a contract offer from Calgary… Seriously

Sep 13, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

vesatoskala2.jpgFrom today’s “NHL Believe It Or Not” files, James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe & Mail fills us in about the unemployment of former Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala. Toskala, who was dealt to Calgary halfway through last season, struggled famously with both Toronto and Calgary. In Calgary, at least, Toskala was able to serve as Miikka Kiprusoff’s backup and not shouldering the load as a starter the way he did in Toronto.

Mirtle finds out that Calgary appreciated Toskala’s work so much as Kipper’s caddy that they wanted to bring him back for another year. The details, of which, are stunning on a few levels.

One of the interesting tidbits I learned was that former Leafs netminder Vesa Toskala had a contract offer earlier this summer to play in the NHL from the Flames, but turned it down because he wanted to still be a No. 1 netminder. Calgary has Miikka Kiprusoff, making that all but impossible there.

According to my source, the offer was for north of $1-million, which would have been a good deal for Toskala given he was coming off of two poor years in Toronto. He also apparently had interest from a Swedish team, but his asking price was too high.

First of all, it’s stunning that Toskala had an offer to play anywhere in the NHL, never mind back in Calgary. Secondly, an offer north of $1 million for a backup goalie in this market where Marty Turco settled for $1.5 million to be a starter is startling. Making things even worse is that Toskala turned it down sparing Calgary and GM Daryl Sutter the hilarious ignominy of having another bloated contract on the books for a player that fans even know struggles on the ice. This is a smorgasbord of comedic failure on all levels, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Daryl Sutter opted to bring back Olli Jokinen this summer.

Look at it this way Flames fans, at least you were spared one final dagger to the solar plexus of your fandom this summer. Sure the Flames might be dealing with Kiprusoff playing 70+ games this year while fighting for a playoff spot this year while any of Leland Irving, Matt Keetley and Henrik Karlsson get to wear a baseball cap most of the season, but at least they’re spared from having to deal with Vesa Toskala and his .880 save percentage and 3.48 goals against average in a “relief” role.

The Flames are easily this off-season’s winner of most amusing team, any and all arguments will not be heard to oppose it.

  1. Whalerlady - Sep 13, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Our SB Nation fan site should be renamed “Matchsticks and CRACK” instead of Matchsticks and Gasoline. (sigh)

  2. StakeX - Sep 13, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    I can sorta, kinda understand why Calgary might offer him a deal to be a backup. He has some experience, and he would be better then nothing in an emergency. Granted I’m not a Calgary fan, so I might not have the best view of the situation.
    Either way though, I really don’t get why they would offer him so much money and even funnier why he would turn it down. I get that he wants to be a starter, but you have to look at it from a realistic point of view: He played horrible the last two years. Sure, he had to deal with a team like Toronto in front of him and all, be he still just never looked anything close to good in net. Throw in the fact that the goalie market is hostile and flooded right now, and he should have been dancing on a table just to have an offer… let alone one thats over a million bucks.
    Its quite likely Toskala will just not have a job this year, period. At least if he had taken the deal he would not only be getting paid, but have a chance to show hes still got something left in the skill department. I guess you can’t feel bad for a guy that goes and shoots himself in the food, and then jumps off a cliff….

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