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Miikka Kiprusoff (finally!) announces his retirement from NHL

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Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames has retired.

Miikka Kiprusoff’s retirement marks the end of an era for the rebuilding Flames. (Gerry Thomas/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

And now from the “Wait a minute .  .. didn’t he already do this?” file: veteran netminder Miikka Kiprusoff made it official today by formally announcing his retirement after 12 seasons in the NHL.

“I decided to retire at the end of last season,” Kipper said in a statement released by the Calgary Flames. “I appreciated Jay Feaster and the Flames organization permitting me to take the summer to be 100 percent sure. It’s an important decision for me personally, my family, the Flames organization and fans. Jay and I had conversations over the summer and nothing had changed for me and upon returning to Calgary last week, I once again spoke with Jay and confirmed with him that I would be retiring.”

“I’ve been very lucky to have spent 10 years of my career in Calgary,” Kiprusoff said.

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  • Published On Sep 09, 2013
  • GM Feaster’s leash no shorter in Calgary because of Brian Burke’s hiring

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    Brian Burke and Jay Feaster

    Brian Burke insists that he will have Flames GM Jay Feaster’s ear, but not his job. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    There was a scarcely hidden undercurrent of pity in Calgary today where Brian Burke was introduced as the new president of hockey operations for the Flames.

    While the man of the hour shared his thoughts on rebuilding the shattered organization, the team’s general manager, Jay Feaster, sat quietly to his left, all but ignored.

    You could almost hear what everyone in the room was thinking. “The poor guy. Forced to sit there and smile as they introduce the man who’s about to pull the chair out from under him.”

    It’s understandable. The easiest thing in the world right now is to be cynical about Feaster’s tenure. But it’s also wrongheaded. In fact, if someone offers you a line on his future, take the over. For all his failings, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

    “I’m not the GM of the Calgary Flames. Jay Feaster is,” Burke confirmed today. “I think I can help, but Jay has great ability.”

    That’s probably where the cynicism comes in. Feaster’s competence has often come under fire, including more than once in this space, and if that’s what this move had been about, I would have applauded the team for taking the matches out of his hand before he burned the whole thing to the ground.

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  • Published On Sep 05, 2013
  • Report: Brian Burke set to join Calgary Flames

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    Brian Burke has been the General Manager for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, and Toronto Maple Leafs. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Brian Burke has been the GM of the Whalers, Canucks, Ducks, and Maple Leafs. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    According to Bruce Dowbiggin of The Globe and Mail, former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is set to join the front office of the Calgary Flames.

    Nothing’s been confirmed by this point, but Dowbiggin speculates that Burke would be brought in as CEO of the beleaguered franchise.

    Whatever the capacity, the two sides seem well suited for each other. The Flames could use a steady hand on the tiller, and while Burke has his detractors, he did an admirable job rebuilding the farm system in Toronto. He worked alongside Flames owner Murray Edwards on the NHL’s negotiating team during last season’s lockout, so there’s some kind of relationship there. And it doesn’t hurt that he has a long-running feud with Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe, which should keep the fires burning under one of hockey’s top rivalries.

    And maybe the Hockey Gods have decided that Burke owes the Flames one after robbing them blind in the lopsided deal that sent Dion Phaneuf to Toronto back in 2010.

    More, it seems, to come  . . .


  • Published On Sep 04, 2013
  • Saddledome is under water as Calgary battles floods

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    Flooding at the Calgary Saddledome

    The home of the Calgary Flames is being badly damaged. (Julie Van Rosendaal via Twitter)

    By Allan Muir

    UPDATE: Calgary radio station X92.9 is reporting that the flooding from from the Bow and Elbow rivers has now reached the 14th row of the Saddledome with extensive damage to the building.

    Meanwhile, Eric Francis, who covers the Flames for the Calgary Sun, confirms what that means:

    Francis also reports there are no images available of the damage yet as the area is inaccessible and only one employee is in the building at this time.

    Deputy police chief Trevor Daroux has confirmed that the water reached the 10th row this morning. He said the Saddledome flooding “paints a very clear picture of what kinds of volumes of water that we’re dealing with.”

    “This is not simply something we can pump out.”

    Contacted by the Calgary Herald, Libby Raines, the vice-president of building operations for the Saddledome, could not confirm the varying reports of damage to the arena. “I don’t know if people are just estimating,” she said. “We had someone in there [Friday] morning and we do have a significant amount of water, for sure, but I’m not going to speak to where or what row or whatever.”

    ***

    It’s an absolutely staggering image.

    With the city of Calgary besieged by water overflowing from the Bow and Elbow rivers, CBC Radio’s Julie Van Rosendaal posted this photo capturing the impact of the flooding in the downtown area. It clearly shows the Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames and the Western League’s Calgary Hitmen, surrounded by the rising waters.

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  • Published On Jun 21, 2013
  • Top Line: Ryan Miller’s Patrick Roy moment, more links

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    Ryan Miller was pulled Friday night after some misadventures with the puck and four goals allowed. (Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? A proud goaltender, waving in mock appreciation as a home crowd serenades him with a Bronx cheer? Yeah, Ryan Miller seemed as tired of the First Niagara Center crowd as they were of him after a couple of brutal goals led to an 8-4 Rangers’ win that ended Buffalo’s playoff hopes. Very easy to see him demanding a trade after that display.

    • “Yes sir, just like clockwork, you can count on Brad Richards to record a hat trick once every 896 games.” That’s the great lead from Larry Brooks, writing about the veteran’s first career three-goal game in the rout of the Sabres.

    • Like everyone else in Boston, the Penguins experienced an unusual day on Friday.

    • It became apparent early on that as long as the manhunt for the bomber continued, the show could not go on in Boston. The postponement and rescheduling of Friday’s game means the Bruins play their final six games in a span of just nine days.

    • A struggling Milan Lucic could be benched for today’s rescheduled matinee against the Penguins. That should please Bruins fans who are tired of watching him float through games.

    • Mike Heika, who offers as entertaining a read as anybody out there these days, says the Stars were taught a valuable lesson in how to impose your will by the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. They probably would have preferred two points, but that lesson might pay greater dividends down the road.

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  • Published On Apr 20, 2013
  • Top Line: Quick, Kopitar struggle in L.A., Stars rookies to the rescue, more links

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    Anze Kopitar, who was so vital to the Kings in their Cup run last season, has struggled to produce lately. (Jae C. Hong)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The Kings are rolling, but star center Anze Kopitar is fighting it with just one goal in his last nine games. And he’s not the only one struggling: Jonathan Quick ranks 24th in goals against and 41st in save percentage but he hasn’t lost the trust of his teammates.

    • Funny thing about lousy teams dressing a bunch of kids down the stretch: they sometimes find a way to win. The Dallas Stars were buzzing on the energy provided by newcomers Alex Chiasson and Lane MacDermid in an unexpected 3-1 win over the Ducks that pushed them two points further from the Seth Jones Sweepstakes.

    • “Hey, Rob…what are you doing tonight?” 43-year-old former roller hockey star Rob Laurie was an emergency backup in net last night for the Ducks.

    • The new-look Buffalo Sabres found another way to win Friday night. Luke Adam, Jochen Hecht and Brian Flynn broke long scoring droughts to lead the effort.

    • Cory Conacher was “decent, if not spectacular”  in his debut with the Senators.

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  • Published On Apr 06, 2013
  • NHL Trade Deadline: Blues add Jay Bouwmeester for picks

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    Jay Bouwmeester trade

    The Bouwmeester trade is another questionable rebuilding move by the Flames after trading captain Jarome Iginla last week. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    At some point, maybe not too far into the future, Calgary Flames fans might look back at the deal that sent Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues for a first-round pick, along with defenseman Mark Cundari and goaltender Reto Berra, as the deal that righted this badly listing franchise.

    More likely though, this will be remembered as the third entry in GM Jay Feaster’s 2013 trilogy of failed decisions.

    This is just a bad, bad deal for the Flames.

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  • Published On Apr 02, 2013
  • Trade Shocker: Jarome Iginla dealt to Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Jarome Iginla may have pulled on a Calgary sweater for the last time, as the captain could soon be headed to Boston. (Danny Murphy/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Jarome Iginla has played his last game for the Calgary Flames.

    The team announced that its captain would be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.

    Iginla has played 441 consecutive games for the Flames, so a scratch tonight makes sense only if a trade is on the horizon.

    Meanwhile in Providence, Boston’s top farm team has scratched two prospects: Jordan Caron and Alex Khokhlachev. Another potential trade chip, defenseman Matt Bartkowski, was scratched from Boston’s game against Montreal.

    Something may be imminent.

    UPDATE 6: In an absolutely shocking turn of events, Calgary GM Jay Feaster has just confirmed that Jarome Iginla has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    In return for the 35-year-old veteran, the Flames receive Pittsburgh’s 2013 first-round selection and prospects Ben Hanowski and Kenny Agostino.

    Hanowski, a 6-2, 198 right wing with the St. Cloud State Huskies, was the 63rd overall pick in 2009. Agostino is a 6-1, 200 left wing with the Yale Bulldogs. He was selected 140th overall in 2010.

    Both players are fair prospects, but hardly blue-chippers. An NHL scout just told SI.com that “they’re probably top-10 in Pittsburgh’s system, but at the bottom of the top-10.”

    Somehow Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero has managed to acquire Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray without having to sacrifice any of his top-five prospects. Absolutely remarkable job on his part.

    Jay Feaster, from his press conference: “Our pro scouts feel very strongly about these players … they fit our criteria for hockey sense and they have good skill level.”

    Not sure anyone is buying that, though. Though his hands were tied by Iginla’s four-team list of trade options, it’s hard to believe Feaster had two teams battling it out tonight for Iginla’s services and this was all he was able to snag. The question now is, if this was all that was on the table, why pull the trigger tonight? Why not wait and hope that desperation on Boston’s part would push up the price?

    Iginla will have a farewell press conference Thursday morning at 10:30 local time in Calgary.

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  • Published On Mar 27, 2013
  • The Jay Feaster follies

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    Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster had a tough week.

    Flames GM Jay Feaster and the NHL don’t see eye to eye on a rule in the new CBA. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Ryan O’Reilly may be back with the Colorado Avalanche, but the story of how he almost became a Calgary Flame isn’t over yet.

    As first reported by Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston this morning, Flames GM Jay Feaster failed to understand a very critical element of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Had Colorado accepted draft pick compensation instead of matching Calgary’s two-year, $10 million offer, O’Reilly would have been subject to waivers before joining the Flames as a result of having played in the KHL after the NHL season got underway.

    And that would have meant only one thing: O’Reilly would have been claimed by another team (likely Columbus) and the Flames would have given away a first- and third-round pick for nothing.

    All because Feaster and his staff didn’t bother to contact the league and make absolutely certain that there was no misunderstanding of this CBA clause.

    Fortunately for the Flames, the Avs matched the offer and spared Feaster that disastrous outcome.

    But while he didn’t lose the picks, he may have lost something more valuable: the trust of Calgary’s ownership in his ability to move forward.

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  • Published On Mar 01, 2013
  • UPDATED: Feaster goes down in flames with offer sheet bid for Ryan O’Reilly

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    Calgart Flames GM Jay Feaster

    Feaster famine: Calgary’s GM has had tough time of late improving his struggling Flames. (Terence Leung/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    For the second time in a day, Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster baffled everyone with his thinking.

    His decision to sign restricted free agent forward Ryan O’Reilly to a two-year, $10 million offer sheet might have seemed like a bold strike to solve his team’s glaring need for a No. 1 center. Instead, it strengthened a divisional foe ahead of the stretch drive. And he should have known that’s exactly what was going to happen.

    Not that Colorado wasn’t willing to send the reluctant O’Reilly packing. In fact, after months of failed negotiations, finger-pointing and embarrassing parental interference, it was the preferred ending to this tiresome drama.

    But an offer sheet? Nice try, but Do No Harm had a better chance of succeeding.

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  • Published On Mar 01, 2013


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