There's a big difference between signing an aging goalie (Hiller, Smith, etc) vs signing a great goalie still in his prime (Bishop, Andersen, Allen, Elliott, lesser extent MAF).  Those kinds of signings give the team the best chance to be a contender, for now and likely the next 5 years.  If they still ended up being a middle of the pack team, then goaltending is not the issue.     I'm not sure why you keep harping on goalie development on the Flames.  Ortio has never shown consistent numbers