39-Year-Old Goalie – Free Agent
Miikka Kiprusoff Contract Information:
Signed to a multi-year deal with the Flames in August, 2005. Agreed to a six-year, $35 million extension with the Flames in October of 2007.
Kiprusoff has officially retired from the NHL.
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Miikka Kiprusoff: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Miikka Kiprusoff.
The Flames missed the playoffs again in 2011-12, but that certainly cannot be pinned on Kiprusoff. He had one of his best seasons in years, putting together a 35-22-11 record along with a 2.35 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. The Flames' inability to win in overtime or in shootouts hurt Kipper's record, as evidenced by his 11 overtime losses. The slight drawdown in his minutes and games seemed to help the 35-year-old, and if the Flames get enough backup help to keep Kiprusoff at less than 70 games, Kiprusoff should reward fantasy owners with another stellar year. His only drawback is his team, which hasn't added much of a needed offensive spark in the offseason.
Kiprusoff is fresh off another solid season, having recorded 37 wins and six shutouts; a 2.63 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. With a wavering supporting cast in Calgary, the Finnish backstop works hard for his victories but has been quite consistent over the years. Even though backup goaltender Henrik Karlsson is extremely talented, don't expect Kipper to concede excessive playing time to his Swedish understudy. Kiprusoff is a safe fantasy pick because he is guaranteed playing time and has a robust track record to justify picking him high on the charts.
Kiprusoff endured an incredibly frustrating season, earning just 35 wins despite posting a .920 save percentage and a 2.31 GAA, his best numbers in both categories since 2005-06. He remains a workhorse, either by hook (his own ability) or crook (the lack of a decent backup). The Flames traded for Henrik Karlsson from the Sharks in July, adding a talented but untested backup who will almost certainly stick with the team due to his contract situation. Look for more of the same from Kippy - 70-plus games, excellent percentages, and perhaps more frustration from a lack of scoring support from his skaters.
Even with an "off" year in 2008-09, Kiprusoff still picked up 45 wins, best in the NHL. His rising goals against average is worrisome, increasing every year from 2005-06 (2.07) to 2008-09 (2.84), but he has still averaged 41.5 wins and a little under six shutouts a season over the last four years. The Flames still look like a playoff team and they don't really have much of a backup plan in goal yet, so expect 40-45 wins from Kiprusoff and another 4-6 shutouts. If he can bring down the GAA again, it's an added bonus.
Kiprusoff butted heads with coach Mike Keenan at times last season, and his production was not exactly helped by the situation. His numbers (39-26-10, two shutouts, 2.69 GAA) were not awful, but they certainly were not Kipper-like. Kiprusoff had combined for 17 shutouts his past two seasons, and had kept his GAA under 2.50 every season he's been with Calgary. Slightly worrisome is Kiprusoff's decline over the last three years, but he has a solid blue-line corps in front of him, and he should be a pretty good goalie option. Expect his GAA to go under 2.50 again, with 35-40 wins and around five shutouts.
You know you're a good goalie when people consider you a disappointment with these numbers: a 40-24-9 record, 2.46 GAA and seven shutouts. Nonetheless, Kiprusoff never completely found his 2005-06 form last season, and his rotating blue line didn't help. Calgary will try a revamped defensive corps this season, which may take some time to gel with Kiprusoff, but ultimately should not have as many injury or consistency issues. He may not duplicate his Vezina season of 2005-06 (2.07 GAA, 10 shutouts), but he should get close. Expect another 40 wins and 6-8 shutouts, as the Flames still do not have a rock-solid No. 2 goalie.
As far as fantasy goalies go, you can't do much better than Kiprusoff. Near the top of the NHL in every category, Kiprusoff had 42 wins, 10 shutouts, a .923 save percentage and a 2.07 GAA last season. Kipper also managed to avoid any prolonged slumps that can occasionally plague goalies that play as much as he does. The loss of defenseman Jordan Leopold hurts a little bit, but the Flames are still rock solid on the blue line and now can support Kiprusoff more on the offensive end. Look for much of the same from him in 2006-07, but expectations of him matching his 10 shutouts from last season will likely be overwhelming.
If this story sounds vaguely familiar, it reminds me of Dominik Hasek, who was traded to Buffalo for little and went on to win many awards and led the Sabres to the Stanley cup finals. This tale is about a third string goalie with the San Jose Sharks who was traded to the Calgary Flames for a second round pick in December 2003/04; he becomes their number one goalie and set the NHL record for goals against in a season (1.69), led the league in save percentage and his team made it to game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. The cornerstone goalie of the Flames was the second item on the Flames agenda to take care of after the lockout (see Iginla); he is now inked for three years and should continue to stone the opposition in the 2005/06 season.