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DirtyDeeds

Goaltender Depth

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Last year at this time you likely would have said that Irving was going to compete with Karlsson for the backup position this year.

Starting this hockey season, had there been hockey to play, many feel that Irving was going to actually solidify his role as backup to Kipper.

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As we continue on with this hockey lockout the above thoughts become blurred and less black & white.

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-Irving has not performed yet to the abilities many expect of him.

-Taylor and Brust have both excelled in their performance on the Heat, at the very least gaining some future considerations. Both are under AHL contracts and not with the Flames however.

-Ramo's performance should get the call next season so he can compete for the backup position here.

Some other thoughts to consider:

Can Kipper perform to his usual level should we get back to playing hockey? (Assuming it will be a portion of this year or next season)

Is there going to be the logjam for backup next season that appears right now? or are we going to just let a few of those players contracts expire and move on?

How are Ortio and Gillies & Brossoit coming along and where do they fit into the future plans?

At the moment goaltending looks to be our deepest position for the next short term period.(2+ years)

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At the moment goaltending looks to be our deepest position for the next short term period.(2+ years)

It is a good position to have depth...

Now, if they could only figure out a way to achieve the same at center and then right wing, we could really be a threat for years to come... And they just might be on their way to achieving that... There is always hope... :)

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I don`t mean to sound cocky here but to me we certinly have a top 5 goalie propsect pool, for example:

Leland Irving- Before this year (and he will recover) he was arguably the best goalie in the AHL.

Brossiot: Best goalie in the WHL, Hands down with barely any competition. Plays a very oldschool style though, but certainly affective.

Ortio: A top 5 FEL goalie, has all the stuff on the bigger rinks, just couldnt hit his stride in the AHL. Should however be able to translte his style to the north american rinks. Needs to play more aggressive.

Gilles: Thus far has been the best Goalie in the NCAA, Pulling off some rediculas saves and always keeping his team in it.

Kari Ramo: Not truly a prospect anymore, but many russains will tell you he is the best Goalie in the KHL. Has had huge sucess over the pond and has greqt numbers to show for it.

Personally I would like to see 4 other teams with better goalie pools, I am certainly not calling us number one, I am just saying we are difinitly top 5.

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The good is that we have a lot of up and comers.

Brossoit has a pretty good chance to rep Canada at the WJC

Gilles has found great success early on and just earned another accolade (hockey east defensive player of the week)

Ortio has also found success

The problem I see is that we have nobody to step up and take the starting role when kipper is gone. Irving is probably our most NHL ready goaltender, but to be honest my faith in him has been shaken because he's lost his starting job in abby.

Maybe in a few years we'll have the luxury of having two goaltenders with starting capabilities, (similar to Vancouver) and we can move one for a high price.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here....

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I don't think the Flames are in particularly good position regarding their goal tending depth.

Kipper is the best goalie ever to where the flaming C. All the respect to him for being one of the elite. But in keep in mind he has only played well under two coaches, and both were named Sutter. He wasn't good in San Jose after Sutter left. He was merely decent under Playfair. He wasn't very good under Keenan. Even under Brent Sutter he had an off season.

I am not counting him out for next season. It would be far from shocking that he is lights out again under Hartley. But given Hartley's offensive high tempo game it isn't impossible he doesn't play at an elite level.

Regardless, given his age, contract, and potential for retirement the Flames have to be concerned about life post Kipper.

And despite our larder of hopefuls we don't have any NHL proven and ready prospects to take the mantle. We aren't sitting with a Schnieder or Raask or even a Bernier.

I do like the number of prospects we have. In goalies I prefer a quantity of promising maybes then putting your chips on one or two high profile guys. You can make a case why every single one of our prospects probably won't amount to anything, and you would probably be right (heck, there are only 5 goalies in history to play more then 200 games for the franchise - only 13 to play a seasons worth of games!) Franchise goalies are a RARE commodity.

But you can also make a case why any one of them could be a Flames starter. That is true for Brust, Karlson, Ramo, Irving, Taylor, Gillis, and Brossoit. More bullets in the gun.

But in terms of our immediate future I am not thrilled. Anyone of those guys is a big gamble. None of them have shown they are ready to be a starter now. If we lose Kipper, or if he doesn't perform, we are taking a hard hard gamble.

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In my opinion we need to give ramo the best opportunity for success. He is by far the most likely to be a future starter and this year with so much added talent in the k he is being truley auditioned. As much as I like kip I want to see ramo succeed and steal that starter spot. The sooner we can trade kipper the better. Maybe pull a stl with the two next year and depending how it goes we can strongly consider dumping kipper at deadline

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In my opinion we need to give ramo the best opportunity for success. He is by far the most likely to be a future starter and this year with so much added talent in the k he is being truley auditioned. As much as I like kip I want to see ramo succeed and steal that starter spot. The sooner we can trade kipper the better. Maybe pull a stl with the two next year and depending how it goes we can strongly consider dumping kipper at deadline

I don't know about that, I'd say any of our guys have a shot at becoming a starter. But Ramo is older, so while that means he's more likely to have success right now, it also means that he might've peaked already. But I would definitely advocate AGAINST handing the reins to Ramo without even seeing him back on the NHL ice.

Personally, I think Joni Ortio is going to take a long time, but that the 3 or 4 year wait could very well be worth it. Ortio and Gillies have the most potential (but also a far greater likelihood of busting), Irving and Ramo are more likely to make the NHL in some capacity (with one already having done that), while Broisoit and Taylor could be wildcards. However, that's just my opinion.

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Where's Karlsson?

Am I the only one that thinks it's not reasonable to give up on him just yet? I acknowledge that I may have missed something - I do live in Toronto.

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Where's Karlsson?

Am I the only one that thinks it's not reasonable to give up on him just yet? I acknowledge that I may have missed something - I do live in Toronto.

Peter over at the Fan 960 said a couple days ago Karlsson is here in Calgary atm.

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Peter over at the Fan 960 said a couple days ago Karlsson is here in Calgary atm.

I think Heartbreaker might be referring to "why isn't Karlsson on people's talking points", and I have to agree with that. I haven't given up on Karlsson yet...in fact, I still prefer him over Irving when it comes to our backup situation. I realize Karlsson is probably only a short term (ie: 5 years max) option, but I still don't think he warrants being eliminated from conversation.

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I think Heartbreaker might be referring to "why isn't Karlsson on people's talking points", and I have to agree with that. I haven't given up on Karlsson yet...in fact, I still prefer him over Irving when it comes to our backup situation. I realize Karlsson is probably only a short term (ie: 5 years max) option, but I still don't think he warrants being eliminated from conversation.

Karlsson is a borderline NHL backup. His numbers are at best average, and most people would say less than that. And given he's already in the prime of his career, those numbers don't bode well.

Sure he could pull off a late-bloomer, but very few guys do and it's unreasonable to assume that he will. Even as a backup he's no Ty Conklin or Dan Ellis. So I think at this point it's safe to assume that's he's played himself out of a longterm role with the Flames.

That's just my opinion however, and I can see why you think otherwise. Personally, I still would do the Karlsson trade again if I had the choice, he's already come farther than most 6th rounders do. But he is no bluechipper.

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I'll start off by saying that from anything that I have seen or read I think Karlsson has a good mind set and personality for the job...

For any goalie to play backup to Kipper and to play so few games would be difficult...

For Karlsson to be more effective, he has to learn to use his size better...

There were a few occasions when Karlsson ended up on his back or sprawled on the ice when he shouldn't have put himself in that position at that time while the play was still alive, and he seemed to have difficult getting back up to at least back on his pads, to better follow the puck and then back up on his skates if need be... There were a few times he looked like an upside down turtle that had been tasered...

That said, he could very well learn how to overcome his shortcomings and turn into a better goaltender... Or, perhaps he might not... Time will tell...

To be fair, the team has also not played well in front of him all to often when he has been on the ice...

But at this point in time I would be more comfortable with a "Cujo" type player in the backup role if that was possible and Karlsson and Irving were the only other options...

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I would say Karlsons chances as a NHL starter are slim. But the goalies guild had this guy a top 15 prospect not long ago. They also cautioned patience as they anticipated it may take Karlsson time to adjust to NA. Especially as an occasional backup.

With Irvings future being shakey Karlsson may get the chance to turn things around.

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Well that's just it, right?

They were a different (read: terrible) team in front of him (and any other backup since 2006), so maybe the backup has never really been the problem. I've always liked Henrik Karlsson. He seems to have a great attitude and work ethic, and I'll bet he's far better than we've seen.

I realize that goalie prospects are always projects as they adjust to the pace of the game (or the size of the rink), but I'm not convinced that anyone should give up on him.

I believe in people, and I think that the biggest contributing factor to whatever it is we'll see from this team will be directly related to the cultural change. Jay Feaster has done quite a bit to change the face of the team, and the new coaching staff will bring something entirely new to the locker room. I believe we'll see a lot more from players that aren't pigeon-holed into roles that they don't fit (see: Jay Bouwmeester), and that on the whole, we'll see a very different team. For better or worse. Can the fans keep up with the Flames?

Love.

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One thing is for sure: with the organization identifying Ramo as #2 on their depth chart this may be the last chance for Irving and Karlson to prove themselves. Both are (in essence) unrestricted free agents at the end of the season meaning unless they do something to make the organization take notice both will be probably be gone July 1.

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Well that's just it, right?

They were a different (read: terrible) team in front of him (and any other backup since 2006), so maybe the backup has never really been the problem. I've always liked Henrik Karlsson. He seems to have a great attitude and work ethic, and I'll bet he's far better than we've seen.

I realize that goalie prospects are always projects as they adjust to the pace of the game (or the size of the rink), but I'm not convinced that anyone should give up on him.

I believe in people, and I think that the biggest contributing factor to whatever it is we'll see from this team will be directly related to the cultural change. Jay Feaster has done quite a bit to change the face of the team, and the new coaching staff will bring something entirely new to the locker room. I believe we'll see a lot more from players that aren't pigeon-holed into roles that they don't fit (see: Jay Bouwmeester), and that on the whole, we'll see a very different team. For better or worse. Can the fans keep up with the Flames?

Love.

Has the team been different in front of backups, or has kipper kept us in games more than you are giving him credit for?

Serious question.

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One thing is for sure: with the organization identifying Ramo as #2 on their depth chart this may be the last chance for Irving and Karlson to prove themselves. Both are (in essence) unrestricted free agents at the end of the season meaning unless they do something to make the organization take notice both will be probably be gone July 1.

I'd like to see that chart. Would you happen to have a link?

On the Flames main page they only list (in alphabetical order) Irving, Karlsson & Kipper as roster players.

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Has the team been different in front of backups, or has kipper kept us in games more than you are giving him credit for?

Serious question.

I believe it's both.

Because Kipper can make miracle saves the team plays with more confidence in front of him. They'll take a chance they normally wouldn't.

Lack of confidence makes them grip their sticks a little tighter so they don't play as well in front of the backup.

That might change under a new system because the Sutters are known as defense oriented. Hartley sounds more ready to give them a bit of freedom on the ice.

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Has the team been different in front of backups, or has kipper kept us in games more than you are giving him credit for?

Serious question.

Over the past few years one of the common things we heard from the players after we lost while playing a backup was that the team didn't play well enough, or the team didn't support the goaltender.

They should know better than anyone else.

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I'd like to see that chart. Would you happen to have a link?

On the Flames main page they only list (in alphabetical order) Irving, Karlsson & Kipper as roster players.

That was from an interview with Feaster (Late Summer or Fall) via the Fan 960 who clearly stated that Ramo is number 2 on their depth chart. I believe someone has that conversation linked on Calgary Puck if you are interested.

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I'd like to see that chart. Would you happen to have a link?

On the Flames main page they only list (in alphabetical order) Irving, Karlsson & Kipper as roster players.

No actual depth chart, but on Sept. 19th this year Sportsnet had an article that included this...

Last week, general manager Jay Feaster took it one step further.

"In an ideal situation for us, we think that where (Ramo) is in his development and given the experience that he's had already in the NHL, and the calibre of play he has been showing in the KHL the past couple years, we think that he's kinda number two on our depth chart behind Kipper," Feaster told sportsnet.ca.

That's fairly lofty praise for a guy who has yet to play a game with Calgary. It also sends a fairly clear message to the pair of NHL goalies already on the Flames right now. Both Irving and Karlsson are in spots where their future with the team is anything but cemented. While Irving seems to be the odds-on favourite to backup Kiprusoff this season, let’s not forget he's only on a one-year, two-way contract.

"If (Ramo) could have been here this year, and if he could have been under contract to us and been backing up this year, we think he would have won that job in camp," Feaster said. "The sooner we can get him over here the better and he too shares that opinion, he just has to honour the final year of his deal in the KHL this year."

Feaster held talks with Ramo's agent at June's NHL draft in Pittsburgh and started to discuss the framework of what a deal might look like. The Flames cannot technically negotiate with him until his deal in Russia expires, as per the agreement between the NHL and KHL.

The entire article is here... http://wap.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/09/19/calgary_flames_future_goalie_karri_ramo/

I believe the Feaster interview was on Fan 960 on Sept. 11th...

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I ran into this article over on ESPN: Dated Nov 30th.

Under Calgary GM Jay Feaster, the Flames and their farm team preach a merit-based system for rewarding players and staff. That means the Flames will have to decide who will back up Kiprusoff.

Assistant GM in charge of player personnel John Weisbrod said it will be the goaltender who is deemed best-suited to giving the team the best chance to win.

If that's Barry Brust, so be it, Weisbrod said.

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I'll start off by saying that from anything that I have seen or read I think Karlsson has a good mind set and personality for the job...

For any goalie to play backup to Kipper and to play so few games would be difficult...

For Karlsson to be more effective, he has to learn to use his size better...

There were a few occasions when Karlsson ended up on his back or sprawled on the ice when he shouldn't have put himself in that position at that time while the play was still alive, and he seemed to have difficult getting back up to at least back on his pads, to better follow the puck and then back up on his skates if need be... There were a few times he looked like an upside down turtle that had been tasered...

That said, he could very well learn how to overcome his shortcomings and turn into a better goaltender... Or, perhaps he might not... Time will tell...

To be fair, the team has also not played well in front of him all to often when he has been on the ice...

But at this point in time I would be more comfortable with a "Cujo" type player in the backup role if that was possible and Karlsson and Irving were the only other options...

I agree. For me, I dont like the idea of putting a, for lack of a better word, "development project" behind a workhorse like Kipper. If you have a guy like Kipper you are going to ride, for good reason I might add, you need to change what you look at for a backup and to me you need a veteran specifically someone that understands what it means to only play ever once in a while. The Flames thought have continued to put these proejcts in behind Kipper and it's not fair to the goalie first and foremost. I feel back for guys like PHil Savuve, Mcelhiney, Karlsson, Irivng etc, because i feel like all of them have been put in poor scenarios.

Karlsson for me is done, I've never been a fan to be honest and i've never look at him and saw an NHL start. I think his absolutely upside is as a very average backup goalie. I know he got so much press th eother year for coming in and being the closer but I think people forget he kept coming into games where the team was just playing awful so they really had nowhere to go but up...

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I agree. For me, I dont like the idea of putting a, for lack of a better word, "development project" behind a workhorse like Kipper. If you have a guy like Kipper you are going to ride, for good reason I might add, you need to change what you look at for a backup and to me you need a veteran specifically someone that understands what it means to only play ever once in a while. The Flames thought have continued to put these proejcts in behind Kipper and it's not fair to the goalie first and foremost. I feel back for guys like PHil Savuve, Mcelhiney, Karlsson, Irivng etc, because i feel like all of them have been put in poor scenarios.

Karlsson for me is done, I've never been a fan to be honest and i've never look at him and saw an NHL start. I think his absolutely upside is as a very average backup goalie. I know he got so much press th eother year for coming in and being the closer but I think people forget he kept coming into games where the team was just playing awful so they really had nowhere to go but up...

The problem with that is you may only have a season or two left of Kipper. They need to start developing the next starter.

I would rather have a potential future starter backing up Kipper. I don't care if that is Karlsson, Irving, Ramo, Brust, or Taylor. Though Irving and Ramo seem to have the most potential as starters.

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The problem with that is you may only have a season or two left of Kipper. They need to start developing the next starter.

I would rather have a potential future starter backing up Kipper. I don't care if that is Karlsson, Irving, Ramo, Brust, or Taylor. Though Irving and Ramo seem to have the most potential as starters.

^this^

Unfortunately I don't think we have a legitimate successor to Kipper in the system. I think Feaster is preparing to go the 1 and 1A route with a 50-30 game split. There are very few goaltenders who are franchise guys anymore and I really doubt we have one. Whoever backs up Kipper needs to get at least 25 games in (if not more). This is not just about developing the next goalie but also about acclimatizing the team to playing with a goalie other than Kipper.

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