CALGARY, AB -- Miikka Kiprusoff expressed his desire to remain a member of the Calgary Flames.
General manager Jay Feaster obliged the winningest goaltender in franchise history.
Shortly after the passing of the trade deadline, Feaster acknowledged in a press conference that the team had no problem keeping Kiprusoff after everything he's given the franchise in the last decade.
"From an organizational perspective, a player who has done as much as Miikka has done for this organization…and I still stand by what I had said last year at the trade deadline when it was asked about Kipper, you know, where would we be without Miikka Kiprusoff, is there a sub-30…for everything that that player has done for the organization, we talked as an organization and said that we felt it was appropriate that we would honor that request," Feaster said.
With a final night to sleep on his decision Tuesday, Kiprusoff met with Feaster ahead of Wednesday's deadline to stress that he'd like to stay in Calgary.
"I met with Kipper this morning and Kipper indicated that he really would like to remaining with the Calgary Flames," Feaster said. "From his perspective given the family situation and the new baby, he just doesn't feel that he's ready to move on, that he didn't want to go to another organization, that he would like to finish things here."
Kiprusoff was acquired by the Flames on November 16th, 2003 and holds the franchise record in career wins and shutouts and a handful of single season records, including shutouts (10), single season wins (45) and lowest goals against average (1.69).
He wasn't willing to take that resume to Toronto.
Feaster acknowledged, that the Toronto Maple Leafs were a possible destination for Kiprusoff, who indicated this morning his heart wasn't in relocating.
"Miikka was clear that he didn't want to lead Toronto on, that he didn't want to go there if his heart wasn't 100 per cent set on it and committed to it," Feaster said. "In having the conversation with Miikka today, we made the decision that we're going to keep Miikka Kiprusoff here."
The immediate future for Kiprusoff is clear.
"He is a member of the Calgary Flames, Feaster said. "He will continue with us through the end of the season and at that point in time, as we always do at the end of every season, we sit down and we talk with our players and we'll sit down and talk with Miikka at the end of the season whether or not that's a situation where Miikka's looking to play more or this is the last go round."
HIs future will not be addressed until the offseason.
"We'll get to that when it's the appropriate time," Feaster said. "Right now, again, we honoured his wishes and we did not do a deal to trade Miikka Kiprusoff."
Feaster is hoping Kiprusoff's desire to remain with the organization doesn't lead to backlash from the Flames faithful.
"I would hope that people would recognize … this guy’s been pretty good for this organization," Feaster said.
"Fans certainly have that right to get emotional. I would just hope that as fans think about it more, that they look at it and say you know what, that’s a pretty first-class guy who wants to be here and is still committed to the Flaming C."
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