CALGARY — Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff announced his retirement Monday.
The 36-year-old spent the last nine seasons with the Flames, including the club’s memorable run to the 2004 Stanley Cup final.
Kiprusoff said that he made the decision at the end of last season, but took the summer to be "100 per cent sure."
"It’s an important decision for me personally, my family, the Flames organization and fans," Kiprusoff said in a release. "I’ve been very lucky to have spent 10 years of my career in Calgary. There is no better place to live and play."
A native of Turku, Finland, Kiprusoff holds team records for wins (305), games played (576) and shutouts (41).
Kiprusoff spent parts of three seasons with the San Jose Sharks before being dealt to Calgary for a second-round draft pick in November 2003. The deal would help shape the franchise for the next 10 years.
Kiprusoff finished that regular season with a modern day NHL goals-against average record of 1.69 and continued his stellar play into the playoffs. He won 15 post-season games and had five shutouts while leading the Flames to within one victory of a Stanley Cup.
He was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy that season and won the award two years later after finishing the 2005-’06 campaign with a 42-20-11 record, a 2.07 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and a team record 10 shutouts.
The Flames have fallen on hard times in recent years, having missed the playoffs the last four seasons. Kiprusoff struggled last season with an 8-14-2 record, 3.44 GAA and .882 save percentage. Calgary finished 13th in the Western Conference with just 42 points.
Despite the lack of team success later in his career, Kiprusoff’s numbers are still impressive. In 623 career regular-season games with Calgary and San Jose, he had a 319-213-71 record with a 2.49 GAA and .912 save percentage.
"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," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said. "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."
The Flames, who are in rebuilding mode, hired former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke last week to be their president of hockey operations.
More to come . . .
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