With a number of teams struggling between the pipes I thought it would be fun to take a look at the goaltender market. I will look at each potentially available goaltender and the possibilities of them being moved this season. First up in a series of articles is...
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames
We start off in Calgary where the Flames are struggling mightily and GM Jay Feaster may be willing to pull the trigger and move one of his best players in order to help facilitate a rebuild. Trading away Miikka Kiprusoff would be a massive move for Feaster and one that in all likelihood will not happen but it is a possibility so we will investigate further.
Kiprusoff has been one of the best and most durable goaltenders in the league over the last several years, and trading him away would leave a black hole between the pipes for the Flames as they have no great goalie prospects waiting in the wings. Yes, Henrik Karlsson has played admirably in his backup role over the last year but he is 27 years old and has never been a dominant goaltender even when he played in Sweden.
The Flames still have Miikka under contract for two more seasons after this one, and he carries a 5.83M cap hit with him, so if they were to pull the trigger then they would likely have to take back some salary in the deal which may sway Feaster towards simply keeping him.
The Flames will be looking to add young top six scoring talent in any trade they make, and one must believe that Kiper would be able to bring them at least one top six player in a trade. Add to that the fact that Feaster would likely also ask for a first round pick and a prospect along with a current top six scorer and you begin to see why a deal for Kiprusoff is unlikely mid-season.
If the Flames were inclined to trade their top tender there is not as big of a market as you may think, as it is very difficult to add such a large salary mid-season. Some teams that may be interested are Tampa Bay, Columbus, Phoenix and Edmonton.
Tampa Bay is a long shot, as they have just over three million available in cap space, and they would likely have to send Brett Connolly back to Calgary in the deal. The asking price from Calgary would likely be Connolly, a player like Steve Downie and a first round pick, along with either Roloson or Garon to fill the Flames goaltending hole as well as eliminate a goaltender logjam in Tampa Bay. I doubt Yzerman would be eager to move Connolly or Downie in any trade.
The Blue Jackets have long been tied to Kiprusoff in trade rumors but with their massive spending this off-season they are right up against the cap. If the Jackets were to acquire Kiper then their young starter Steve Mason would have to be going the other way, along with a Derrick Brassard type player and a draft pick. I’m sure the Flames would like to have Ryan Johansen in the trade but Brassard is a more likely option, and is still under contract for two more years after this prior to becoming eligible for RFA status.
Phoenix and Edmonton would definitely love to add Kiprusoff but have basically zero chance of getting him. Phoenix is unable to add big time dollars to their payroll which eliminates them from any conversation about Kiper, despite the constant rumors tying the Flames to Turris. If the Flames do get Turris, Kiprusoff will not be a part of the deal. Edmonton and Calgary have a rivalry that dates back decades and the chance of these two teams pulling off a minor move let alone a massive move like this are slim to none.
In the end, the chances of the Flames trading Kiper this season are slim to none but he has been mentioned in rumors so you cannot completely eliminate the possibility of him being moved. If he is moved I like the chances of Columbus being the team to add him as they seem to match-up well with what the Flames want and need in a trade.
Next up....Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets
All salary cap info courtesy of CapGeek.com