CALGARY, AB -- It’s all about creating competition in the crease.
Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving is hoping to force some tough decisions for head coach Bob Hartley after adding goaltender Jonas Hiller to the goaltending fold while still welcoming back netminder Karri Ramo, who battled for the starter’s role last season.
“We’ve made ourselves deeper at the position,” Treliving said following Hiller’s signing yesterday. “We’re not turning away from Karri. Both players are going to come in here and I think what it’s done is made the Calgary Flames better. We now got competition in net. We’ve got a goaltender who finished the season strongly here in Karri and we’ve got a guy whose been a proven goaltender in the league.
“I like our position today, and we’re better than we were yesterday.”
The Flames added Hiller shortly after free agency opened July 1st. In 50 games last season, the 32-year-old Swiss stopper posted a 29-13-7 record with a 2.48 goals against average and .911 save percentage.
Ramo, who has one year remaining on his contract, wrestled the starting position away last season and made Reto Berra expendable en route to posting a 16-15-4 record with a 2.65 goals against average and .911 save percentage.
Hiller has 326 NHL career starts and a career save percentage of .916. Ramo has 88 games total under his belt and sports a .902 save percentage.
Neither will be named starter just yet.
“On July 1st, we’re not anointing anybody in net,” Treliving said. “There’s one net. We have two guys who are capable of playing good hockey. They’ll determine by their play who is playing and obviously Bob will determine the starter as we go forward. To me, it’s competition.”
That suits Calgary’s newest netminder just fine.
“I think, talking to them, they were back and fourth about knowing if they wanted another goalie or not,” Hiller said. “I’m glad they decided that I might be able to help the team and that’s going to be my goal. I’m not sure if that means if I have to play every game or I don’t play any games, again, if the team has success -- that’s the goal and I’ll take it as it comes.”
Hiller’s workload is yet to be determined.
But it will be decided by which goaltender can outperform the other over the course of the 2014-15 campaign.
And that’s exactly the kind of competition Treliving is hoping to create throughout his roster.
“What we’re trying to create here is competition in all spots,” he said. “I think that brings out the best in everyone. We’re not sitting here anointing anyone on July 1st.”
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