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"The opinion of the uninformed"
Calgary, AB • Canada • 24 Years Old • Male
Miikka Kiprusoff was born in Turko Finland in October of 1976. He was just rewarded, for his 31st birthday, with a $35 million dollar contract over the next 6 years.

That's quite a lot of money for a player who: hasn't played in 250 games yet, hasn't won more than 125 wins in the regular season, and hasn't won a Stanley Cup. But see the problem is, Vezina winning goalies don't grow on trees.

In the past ten seasons, only 5 goalies have collected the trophy. Now, winning the Vezina does not make you one of the greatest goalies to play the game for years to come; look at Jim Carey. But that being said, the numbers which Kipper has put up in his tenure here do put him in a class with players like Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo (he will win eventually). The real question is not whether the money was deserved now, but rather in the later years of the contract.

In Calgary, there is a goaltending prospect named Leland Irving, currently playing with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, who is slated to step into the Kipper's shoes when the time is right. But that timeline is now a little fuzzy. Next year, Irving will be ready to make the jump to the AHL at the age of 20. How many years of seasoning will he need? Ryan Miller of the Sabres, played 3 years at Michigan State and 3 years for the Sabres farm team in Rochester before being ready for the NHL and moving into the starter's role. He was 25.

Leland Irving however will not be attending a post secondary institute. After three years in the minors, he will only be 23, but hopefully ready to learn from a 35 year old goaltender by riding the pine in Calgary. That leaves 3 years left on Miikka's contract at a cap hit of $5.8 million per season. So when Kipper is in the last couple of years of his contract, and the torch is hopefully ready to be passed, let's hope that he is still playing well, and the Flames will be faced with the problem of deciding when Irving is ready, and not the problem of finding a team to take a lead weight off of their hands. But for now, we can rejoice in knowing that Sutter has done his job and taken one more step in locking up all the important parts of this team.

Just my take though.
Filed Under:   Flames   Sabres   Kiprusoff  
October 30, 2007 12:11 PM ET | Delete
I strongly disagree... but I'm not saying you don't make good points. The Irving/Kiprusoff situation would be one that I'm sure Darryl Sutter would be more than happy to have to deal with. These long term deals are front heavy so that in the 5th and 6th years of the deal (i'm not sure on the numbers exactly), Mikka will be making only around 3.5 to 4 million, or less. So if he's not performing, he can be bought out at a much lower rate. My personal feeling is that this is a great deal and another great step for our franchise. Dion will be next with another long-term deal.
October 30, 2007 12:14 PM ET | Delete
Best Example for a former Vezina is Theodore in Colorado...
October 30, 2007 12:18 PM ET | Delete
I'm amazed you wrote an article about a goalie contract being too long without using the word "DiPietro." That takes skill!
October 30, 2007 12:52 PM ET | Delete
It's basically a five year deal. The last year was added on to lower the cap hit. In that last year, when he's making 1.5MM, he'll be a very inexpensive backup or a steal of a starter. If the Flames need cap space, they'll just waive the guy.
October 30, 2007 1:38 PM ET | Delete
Kipper is one of the best goalies in the league. Love to watch him play. I have to feel for the guy though. He really has never had that Stanley Cup winning team in front of him YET. In 2003-04 he was one win away. If the Flames had a little more offense, and of course Dion on the blue line, there is no doubt in my mind the Flames win that cup. But enjoy having a top 5 goalie locked up because there are at least 25 other NHL teams that wish they had it that good.
October 30, 2007 1:40 PM ET | Delete
You're complaining about it? The contract is so heavily frontloaded that if he isn't there in 4/5 years he'll be easy to get rid of. This was really a coup by Sutter. I thought he was going to ask for about a million more.
October 30, 2007 3:12 PM ET | Delete
I agree with mob slap man. If your going to do a long term deal, you HAVE to front load it or your going to turn the NHL into the NBA where you have a lot of guys who are going to get paid for 5 years no matter how bad they play. How does management motivate a player like that. Kudos to Sutter.
October 30, 2007 4:03 PM ET | Delete
i agree on the complaint on contract length. certainly dipietros is ridiculous, but i think several of the skaters contracts as well are suspect. even with younger players there are just way too many things that can go wrong with the mega length deals. i love kimmo timmonen but at his age i wonder if the flyers will regret that contract. even a briere or vanek could be trouble if things dont go as expected or the cap doesnt continue to rise at the present rate. i guess thats what all the gm's get the big bucks to decide.
October 31, 2007 11:49 AM ET | Delete
October 31, 2007 1:56 PM ET | Delete
yeah.. the offense comment was about the stanley cup run back in 03/04.. so those stats are kinda irrelevant. nice spaz tho ;)
November 1, 2007 11:39 AM ET | Delete
thanks for the back-up ringleader. i know the flames offense is much better now.
November 1, 2007 5:04 PM ET | Delete
Interesting view, if Kipper does in fact flop in the next 3 years, it will be a difficult situation for Sutter. Luckily we have two great prospects in the minors that won't be asking for much in terms of a contract until they can prove themselves.
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