Not everyone is happy about the Kiprusoff deal
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | 11:47 AM ET
The Calgary Flames re-signed netminder Miikka Kiprusoff to a six-year $35-million US contract yesterday. That's a tidy piece of business that had to be taken care of early, lest it become a huge distraction for a team that can ill afford anything but 100 per cent focus on its games.
Even though the price seems hefty, Kiprusoffs camp was seeking $7 million per season (that's what Jarome Iginla gets), while this contract averages out for cap purposes at $5.33 million. The deal is front-loaded, so the Finnish netminder earns $6.7 million for the first five years of the deal then slides down to $1.5 million for the final season.
Nice deal for the Flames, but how do you feel if you’re Leyland Irving - the Flames goaltender of the future? Irving could be ready as early as two seasons from now to play consistently in the NHL, but he'll have to wait until either Kiprusoff’s contract expires or the Finn gets injured. Otherwise, Irving will have to beat Kiprusoff out for the job.
I suppose it could be worse, though - how would you like to be a goalie drafted by the New York Islanders, waiting for Rick DiPietro’s 15-year deal to wind down?
Elsewhere around the league:
- Have a peek at Scott Morrison’s blog today. He’s got the skinny on Rick Tocchet and what’s next for the former assistant coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Looks like this is the week Tocchet finds out his fate.
- Slovak standout Peter Bondra called it a career yesterday to take over his country's national team. Interesting: 500 goals seems to be a magical Hall of Fame number (Bondra notched 503 on a mostly weak Washington squad), but does anyone think he’s going to the Hall?
- With Patrice Bergeron still recovering from the Randy Jones hit last Saturday, it appears his spot on the Bruins' first line with Chuck Kobasew and Marco Sturm will be taken by the very versatile Glen Metropolit. The Toronto native has proven to be one of the Bruins' better depth signings as Metropolit has been able to play on the first line, fourth line (it's unique to have the ability to sit for long periods of time and still come on fresh and provide an energy shift), kill penalties, win faceoffs, etc. There is also a chance sophomore standout Phil Kessel could shift over from wing to the middle. Bergeron is expected to be out at least a month with a Grade 3 concussion, the worst type.
- I was a panelist on the Leafs TV pre-game show last night before the Leafs-Capitals game at the Air Canada Centre, with Jody Vance hosting and Mark Osborne in as an analyst. Our guest in the second segment was Washington GM George McPhee, and during our conversation Osborne made reference to a fight he saw McPhee have (the two played together on the Rangers) with Islanders tough guy Bob Nystrom. Said it was a doozy.
- I had a couple of people e-mail me about the scrap so thought I’d put it up here for you to enjoy. The Nystrom fight is about four or five scraps in on the McPhee compilation I found on YouTube this morning. McPhee may look slight and speak quietly when you hear his interviews, but in his day in the NHL ask anyone who was pound-for-pound the toughest guy in the league. Gary Howatt was up there too, but I’ll take the toughie from Bowling Green.
- And since we’ve talked about both George McPhee and Rick Tocchet, here’s a pretty good little scrap between the pair from the 1984-85 season. And check out netminder (and now McPhee’s head coach in Washington) Glen Hanlon taunting Tocchet and Flyers head coach Mike Keenan from the bench.
This afternoon on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Radio, I’ll be joined by co-host and HNIC analyst Craig Simpson live from our CBC studios in Edmonton. We’ll talk about tonight’s Oilers-Red Wings affair at Rexall place and preview the other games involving Canadian teams tonight as the Habs welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to the Bell Centre and the Calgary Flames play host to the Nashville Predators.
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About the Author
Jeff Marek, one of sports talk radio's brightest stars, is the host of the all-new HNIC Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. A twelve-year sports-talk radio veteran, the Toronto native provides intelligent hockey talk, insight and debate during the two-hour national daily drive-time hockey program.
Well known for his previous work on Leafs Lunch on AM 640 Toronto Radio, Marek is one of sports talk radio's most respected personalities. He joined AM 640 in 2000, hosting The Jeff Marek Show, a nightly open-line talk show, while working as the stations' morning news anchor. He quickly became the director of sports news and joined host Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch.
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