Friday, May 10, 2013
Irving done in Calgary?
By Tim Kavanagh
Over the course of the past few seasons, we've been waiting to see when the Calgary Flames would come up with a plan for life after Miikka Kiprusoff. Defying his age, Kipper remained strong, however, so this need was not as great as some had suggested. Unfortunately for Kipper, the bottom fell out of the boat in 2012-13, as his performance suggested that the team had better find themselves a new franchise netminder... and fast. One option believed to be potentially in line for that duty had been Leland Irving, but it appears now that this may no longer be the case.
To Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald, the Flames' actions over the final stretch of the season are a strong indication that pending UFA Irving is not in the team's plans moving forward. Irving did not suit up for any of the final games, and in his post-season press conference, Flames GM Jay Feaster mentioned Kiprusoff, Joey MacDonald, Laurent Brossoit, Karri Ramo, Reto Berra and Joni Ortio by name, but there was no word on Irving.
It's possible that this is posturing by the organization, and Irving will be brought back (at their price). It's a scenario to which the 25-year-old is open, according to agent Ritch Winter. "One thing I don't think we'll have? Trouble finding Leland employment," Winter opined. "He would like that to be in Calgary ... but that would require them to want him back. ... You and I will have this conversation in five or six years, and he'll either be a key part to leading Calgary back to the Stanley Cup playoffs -- or he'll be (like former Flames properties) Craig Anderson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere and doing it somewhere else."
Sounds like it'll be a fun negotiation process in the coming weeks.