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Kipper replacement? Flames to sign KHL goalie Ramo

Jun 6, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT

KarriRamo

The Calgary Flames are preparing for life after Miikka Kiprusoff.

On Wednesday, both the Calgary Herald and Sun reported the Flames have an agreement in place to sign KHL Avangard Omsk netminder Karri Ramo on July 5, the start of free agency.

Ramo, 26, was a Tampa Bay draftee in 2004 and appeared in 48 contests with the Bolts from 2007-09.

He signed with Omsk following the ’08-09 season and flourished into one of the KHL’s best netminders, earning multiple All-Star game nominations while posting goals-against averages of 2.11, 1.97. 1.96 and 2.00.

While in Russia, Ramo’s NHL rights were traded from Tampa Bay to Montreal, who in turn traded them to Calgary as part of last year’s Mike Cammalleri-Rene Bourque deal.

TrueHockey.com’s Andy Strickland reports Ramo’s deal will be of the multi-year variety.

If correct, it means that — assuming the 37-year-old Kiprusoff retires as expected — Ramo will be in a competition with Joey MacDonald, Finnish prospect Joni Ortio, WHL Edmonton’s Laurent Brossiot and Swiss star Reto Berra for minutes in the Calgary goal next season.

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I don’t think he’ll be nearly good enough to replace kipper

    • jernster21 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Over the length of his career? That remains to be seen. Purely based on performance of last season alone, a block of swiss cheese would have been just as effective, making any new goalie an upgrade.

      • freneticgarfieldfan - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        Please don’t offend Swiss cheese.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Kipper from 9 years ago probably not, but the past 3 years have been a slippery slope. For Kipper as his skills seemingly faded and his desire seemed to do the same, I’m amazed he even came back this year because it looked like he was just done and had zero desire to play anymore.

  2. timmylaz99 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    What is it about the Alberta teams that makes them hire such awful GM’s and coaches? I wish them luck with Ramo and their lottery pick in 2014!

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Well any team not in the playoffs is in the lottery so what does that even mean? Most Flames fans are realistic we understand that there will be another year or two before the team is in the playoffs and hopefully on the upswing, but with 4 picks in the top 36 and $25 million in cap room there is certainly reason to believe the future will be brighter. I’m not a Feaster fan but he inherited a mess, Sutter had burned so many draft picks on horrible players that he then gave no trade clauses to that you can’t really judge what Feaster has done until he’s had 3 years on the job, but currently he’s done a much better job of adding prospects (most of lower ceiling) which the Flames simply didn’t have before.

      As for Edmonton they seem to have an unwritten rule that you have to have played for them during the 80-90 window in order to be hired to any job of importance in that organization.

  3. 19to77 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Ramo will experience one season’s worth of the Flames’ nightmarish mediocrity, then bolt to literally anywhere else. Back to the KHL, demanding a trade in the NHL, whatever. Just… not there. No more. Please, no more.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      And yet the Avalanche finished below us this year….that’s quite the hockey dynasty the Lanche have built, it’s their world we just live in it…

      • 19to77 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Oh, God yes. The Avs have been awful lately. Difference is the young talent. Calgary always manages to play itself out of the high picks it needs to rebuild. Also, the Flames didn’t just rebuild their front office in recognition of how completely it’s failed to improve the team in any way. Any team sticking to Jay Feaster after the last few years is just being masochistic.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      Well as I mentioned above they do have 4 picks in the top 36, that will hopefully give them an influx of much needed high end prospects. They have done a very good job of getting the 10-14th draft pick for the last, well pretty much forever, and they’ve usually drafted poorly with those picks. But with those 4 high picks and $25 million in cap room (once Kipper retires) there is reason for some hope.

      As far as Feaster goes, I’m not a fan of his, the O’Reilly debacle should have led to his demise IMO, but he inherited such a mess from Sutter that you can’t pin all the negatives on him. He seems to have added some prospects (even if they don’t have high ceilings) which the Flames never had under Sutter. During Sutter’s run as GM is was not uncommon for the Flames farm team to be made up by a majority of veteran minor league free agents that the farm club signed themselves, because the Flames just didn’t have anyone to play for them.

      • 19to77 - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        Huh. That’s actually a pretty solid drafting position considering how deep this year’s pool looks to be. Not bad at all.

        Only part of the O’Reilly debacle I didn’t love is the part where that idiot Sherman matched the offer sheet. NO. NOOOO. Let Feaster give you the picks and then TAKE HIM BACK ANYWAY. I’m just assuming (and hoping, if we’re honest) Sherman didn’t know how the waiver rule worked either. If he had, there’s just no way that decision made any sense.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        I would actually be relatively excited if I was a Flames fan bc Feaster and the front office decided it was time to stop patching holes by overpaying mid-level vets. They’ve finally bought in to what fans have been saying for 5 years… it’s time to rebuild. And this is a great draft to have so many high picks. Although they clearly would’ve been better served trading away Iginla and Kipper 2+ years ago. But they have now have a chance to restock a relatively barren cupboard if they draft well (which could be a legitimate concern). However there is some talent about ready to break into the NHL… Sven Baertschi, Mikael Backlund, TJ Brodie, Roman Horak, Ben Hanowski, Cundari, and Max Reinhart. The biggest concern, as the article states, is who takes over in net? Will Ramo or Berra step up? Maybe they draft someone like Zach Fucale? It’ll be interesting to see how Feaster assembles this team.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Outside of the 04 cup run this is probably the most excitement I’ve had as a Flames fan since the early 90’s, with those 4 high picks (whether they use them all or trade up to try and get one of the big 3 or Barkov) and the huge amount of cap room (if spent wisely instead of on patchwork vets unless they’re on 1 or 2 year contracts) they have the chance to really give this rebuild a jump start.

        I’ll be on a golf course in the mountains on June 30th, but we’ll definitely have our phones out looking for updates on what the Flames do.

  4. withseidelinn - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Brossiot will be decent in about 5 years

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