Finally. (A Miikka Kiprusoff Article.) – Revisited

Kyle Denu Avatar
sampled from Robert Munnich on 'X' @RingofFireCGY

They finally did 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.

This might sound familiar, because I wrote about it after it was announced in July of last year. You can find that article here: https://regenerationsportsnetwork.com/finally-a-miikka-kiprusoff-article

On March 2, 2024, the Calgary Flames honoured the greatest goalie in the history of the franchise, Finnish netminder, Miikka Kiprusoff. A guy who only Darryl Sutter knew, Miikka came to Calgary as a mystery. Back-up to the back-up in San Jose, and struggling to crack the line-up, Kiprusoff was moved in exchange for a future 2nd round draft pick, to help Calgary with their goalie situation. Starter, Roman Turek was just injured, and back-up, Jamie McLennan wasn’t going to be able to play alone. With the Flames eager to push for the playoffs, Kiprusoff would have to prove himself, and quick. And that he did.

He played 38 games for Calgary in the regular season, winning 24 of them. His 1.70 GAA, and .933 SV% elevated Calgary into the playoffs, where Kipper had long earned the starter role. And then?

Through Vancouver,

through President Trophy winning Detroit,

through Miikka’s former team in the Sharks,

and lastly through the Lightning (it was in).

It should be official. Miikka deserved that cup, and what a story that would have been. Not many Stanley Cup winning goalies start the season playing third-string for another team. He did. In doing so, he inspired a generation of young hockey fans. Something I haven’t seen quite the same way since, but that could be because I was one of those kids. I was 7 years old when the Calgary Flames traded for Miikka, and soon after, it felt as though he was making some crazy save every single night. I was lucky enough to watch him play for 9 straight years. I can’t amplify how fortunate I feel to have had that.

Impressive save by Kiprusoff vs. Sharks in 03-04 via @JamesJohnsonYYC

I was incredibly fortunate to be able to attend Kiprusoff’s retirement game. They Flames set up one hell of an event for this man, and to see my love for the netminder amplified through a sold out Saddledome, was an incredibly moving sensation. It’s nice to see how much he truly meant to the city. Kiprusoff jerseys filled the Saddledome. As the night went from ceremony to game time, chants of “We love you Kipper” resonated around the building on numerous occasions. Leaving the arena on Saturday, I felt a sense of warmth. Not just because of the 3rd period comeback to beat Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which was wonderful in itself, but I had a resounding feeling of closure. It took far too long for the Calgary Flames to retire the number best goalie in franchise history, but it finally happened.

Thank you Miikka.

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