At the end of the 2012 NHL season I asked if the Flames should rebuild or reload. Back then specualtion was high as to whether the Calgary Flames should trade Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff and get assets, or try to work with what they had for a final, late career push with the duo.
In 2013, Iggy was traded, and now what everyone has suspected for a long time became official today via a Calgary Flames press release. Miikka Kiprusoff has retired.
“Miikka has been up-front with us since the trade deadline that he wanted to finish his outstanding playing career as a Flames player, and that the 2013 season was going to be his last,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “We, as an organization, made it clear to Kipper that we did not want him to make a rash or hasty decision. We wanted to give him time to get refreshed during the summer and spend some additional time to make his decision. Had we been prepared to accept Miikka’s position back in April we could have announced his retirement at the end of the season. We purposely chose to wait and give him more time to ensure this was the course he wanted to take. In returning to Calgary this month he advised us that his decision remained the same, and that he was retiring as a player.”
“Miikka Kiprusoff has been the backbone of the Calgary Flames since his arrival here in 2003, and every night for more than 70-nights per season, his magnificence between the pipes gave the team a chance to win. He inspired hope and confidence, and he made those around him better players as a result of his brilliance. Miikka will take his place in the pantheon of great NHL goaltenders, and his place in Flames’ history is secure. He will be missed by players, teammates and fans, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Kiprusoff played nine seasons for Calgary and concludes a spectacular career as the Flames all-time leader in wins (305); games played (576) and shutouts (41).