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Flames sign goalie acquired in Bouwmeester trade

Apr 17, 2013, 3:18 PM EST

RetoBerra

The Calgary Flames agreed to terms with Swiss goalie Reto Berra on a one-year, $765,000 deal that could reach $1.3 million with bonuses, the club announced on Wednesday.

Berra, 26, has spent his entire pro career in Switzerland’s National League A after being selected by the Blues in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound netminder was acquired by Calgary, along with defenseman Mark Cundari and a 2013 first-round pick, from St. Louis in exchange for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on Apr. 1.

It  should be noted Berra wasn’t simply a throw-in to the Bouwmeester deal. Flames GM Jay Feaster said the club had been targeting him for a while.

“We made a mental note when we got the rights to Karri Ramo, if we ever had the opportunity to pick up Reto Berra’s rights, we would do it,” Feaster told the Flames website. “He happens to be represented by the same agent that represents Sven Baertschi and he’s playing in Switzerland so Bob [Hartley] was familiar with him as well.

“We’ve had our eye on him for well over a year now.”

  1. ray2013 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    We were so interested in him we had to lock him up for the next 12 months!

    • manchestermiracle - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      Smart that they aren’t making a huge commitment to a player that has no NHL experience. There’s no guarantee he’s an NHL-caliber ‘tender, so a 1-yr. deal makes sense.

      • ray2013 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:10 AM

        In one sense, you’re absolutely right. He could be a bust, and if he shows some talent, they could always re-sign him. But I note the following quote:

        “We made a mental note when we got the rights to Karri Ramo, if we ever had the opportunity to pick up Reto Berra’s rights, we would do it,” Feaster told the Flames website”

        A one-year deal is just pure speculation. For example, the Hurricanes gave Semin a one-year deal just to see how he’d fit into the team, but zero commitment beyond a year. If they were really targeting him, and he really was more than a throw-in, what’s the harm in giving him a two-year deal?

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