Finally. (A Miikka Kiprusoff Article.)

Kyle Denu Avatar
Harvey the Hound Bowing to Miikka Kiprusoff via @RingOfFireCGY

They’re finally doing it.

After over 600 NHL games, 44 career NHL shutouts, a Jennings trophy, a Vezina trophy, and a remarkable run for the Stanley Cup, #34 is finally being retired by the Calgary Flames.

Miikka Kiprusoff jersey retirement announcement via @NHL

Miikka Kiprusoff, the top goalie to ever play for the city, should have been an easy choice for number retirement. He left the NHL shortly after being told that he would be added to the trade block. Kiprusoff, who desired to end his career a Flame, took the summer following the 2012-13 campaign to think about it, but ultimately decided to retire for the team, and city that loved him.

The legendary Finnish goaltender was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in Round 5 (#116 overall) of the 1995 NHL Draft. Over four seasons for the Sharks, he played a total of 48 games before being shipped off to Calgary in exchange for a 2nd round pick (Marc-Édouard Vlasic). The Flames needed a back up goaltender, as their starter, Roman Turek, had just been injured. In his inaugural season for the Flames, Miikka Kiprusoff played 38 games, winning 24 of them. This elevated Calgary to their first playoff berth in nearly a decade. We all know what happened next.

Through Vancouver,

through President Trophy winning Detroit,

through Miikka’s former team in the Sharks,

and lastly through the Lightning (it was in).

Kipper Hype Video via @JamesJohnsonYYC

From 3rd string to a franchise goaltender in the same season. Then Darryl Sutter did, what he does best. Ruined it.

2005-06 – 74GP

2006-07 – 74GP

2007-08 – 76GP

2008-09 – 76GP

Miikka Kiprusoff played 300 NHL regular season games in 4 years. 326 with playoffs. It wore Miikka out. He went from being a yearly Vezina candidate (1x Winner), to sometimes falling below the top 30 list. During the end of the 2012-13 season, Toronto was looking to add a goaltender, but Kiprusoff declined the trade. He instead retired after nine seasons in Calgary.

It took a little over a decade, but Miikka Kiprusoff is finally being recognized for being the incredible goaltender he was. Maybe partially due to his former teammates finding themselves in new management positions for the Flames. (Also with Mikael Backlund admitting on a Swedish podcast that he won’t be signing a contract with Calgary, the Flames need a W.) Now the next step for Miikka, Hall of Fame.

Kipper HOF Goalie via @DarrenWHaynes

So, whether the Flames are good, bad, or bad at being good or bad, this game will be one for the books.

Miikka Kiprusoff Interview via @NHLFlames
Kyle Denu Avatar

One response to “Finally. (A Miikka Kiprusoff Article.)”

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