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Will the Flames’ Goaltending be enough?

Goaltending for the Calgary Flames is deep, for rookies. As for starters, I think they need to invest in a legitimate starter. Frederik Andersen? Brian Elliot? Jonathan Bernier? Ben Bishop? You have a few rookies, such as; Joni Ortio, Jon Gillies, Mason McDonald, and Nick Schneider, who may end up proving themselves worthy.

  1. Karri Ramo – NHL Starter
  2. Jonas Hiller – NHL Backup
  3. Joni Ortio – AHL Starter
  4. Kevin Poulin – AHL Backup
  5. Jon Gillies – AHL Prospect
  6. Nick Schneider – WHL Prospect

It will be interesting to see what the Flames do this offseason with Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller’s contracts both ending. That decision will impact the future of goaltending here in Calgary. Jonas Hiller has a cap hit of $4.5 million and I expect him to get traded at the deadline. I believe one of the rookie goalies will prove themselves and become the starter in the next few seasons. Jon Gillies is expected to be the next big goalie for the Flames.

Jonas Hiller

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Jonas Hiller has one year left on his current contract. The Flames have him, Karri Ramo, and Joni Ortio under contract. Hiller and Ramo split time for Calgary last season, but it was Ramo who got to play in the second round of the playoffs against Anaheim. “It was tough because I thought I had a really good series against Vancouver and I never got the chance to play against Anaheim,” said Hiller. “But at the same time, it was something similar over the whole year, which wasn’t easy to have two guys to help the team, sometimes it was tough because you felt good about your game and then you didn’t play for a while.”He had a pretty good year going 26-19-4, with a 2.36 GAA and a .918 Save %. This year so far, he is going 5-4-1 in 12 games, with a 3.16 GAA and a .882 SV% along with 1 shutout.
Contract:
Cap Hit: $4.5 million.
2014-15: $4.5 million.
2015-16: $4.5 million.
2016-17: UFA
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Is an extremely positional netminder with great size. Excels in high-pressure games. Possesses quick lateral movement and plenty of confidence in his butterfly style. Shakes off bad goals (and games) well.
Flaws: Tends to be badly exposed when his positioning fails him. Gets beaten upstairs when he goes down to his knees too early. Has had to deal with vertigo issues in the past, though he appears to be over them now.
Career Potential: Quality starting goaltender.
Season Stats
G Min W L OTL GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
52 2871 26 19 4 113 2.36 1376 1263 .918 1
Career Stats
Year Team G Min W L T OTL EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2007 ANA 23 1223 10 7 0 1 0 42 2.06 578 536 .927 0
2008 ANA 46 2486 23 15 0 1 6 99 2.39 1217 1118 .919 4
2009 ANA 59 3338 30 23 0 4 6 152 2.73 1860 1708 .918 2
2010 ANA 49 2672 26 16 0 3 6 114 2.56 1493 1379 .924 5
2011 ANA 73 4253 29 30 0 12 8 182 2.57 2021 1839 .910 4
2012 ANA 26 1498 15 6 0 4 1 59 2.36 675 616 .913 1
2013 ANA 50 2909 29 13 0 7 4 120 2.48 1348 1228 .911 5

Karri Ramo

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 14: Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames skates against the Dallas Stars during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 14, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Karri Ramo is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. Calgary’s crease situation will be an interesting topic for management to discuss. He shared the crease with Jonas Hiller during the 2014-15 season and was the Flames’ goalie of choice for the latter part of the playoffs. Hiller also has one year left on his contract. Ramo posted a 15-9-3 record with a .912 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA, but he could be allowed to test the free agent market. This year he is 15-14-1 in 30 appearances, with a 2.61 GAA and .910 SV% with 1 shutout.
Contract:
Cap Hit: $3.8 million.
2014-15: $2.75 million.
2015-16: $3.8 million.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Has excellent size for the goaltending position and covers up a lot of net. Is mature and cool under pressure.
Flaws: Needs to develop a book on shooters’ tendencies on this side of the pond, as well as develop greater consistency.
Career Potential: Big goaltender with a little upside.
Season Stats
G Min W L OTL GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
34 1732 15 9 3 75 2.60 852 777 .912 2
Career Stats
Year Team G Min W L T OTL EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2006 TB 2 70 0 0 0 0 0 4 3.43 23 19 .826 0
2007 TB 22 1269 7 11 0 3 6 64 3.03 632 568 .899 0
2008 TB 24 1312 4 10 0 7 3 80 3.66 756 676 .894 0
2013 CAL 40 2194 17 15 0 4 5 97 2.65 1091 994 .911 2

Joni Ortio

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No one wants to be the backup, let alone the third string goalie and Calgary’s Joni Ortio has his sights set on their starting gig. He may have a leg up on his big plans, as starter Karri Ramo is a free agent if he isn’t re-signed by July 1st. “It’s going to be the two best guys in training camp that are going to get the spots. That’s what our standards are over here.” Ortio has just 15 games of NHL experience since being drafted 171st overall in 2009. He’s 8-6-0 with six Quality Starts against just three Really Bad Starts with 35 goals 346 combined shots with Calgary. His numbers with AHL Adirondack last season were more encouraging, going 21-13-1 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.69 GAA in 37 games. He’ll be entering his age-25 season in September as well. “No one is guaranteed a spot. I’ve got to work hard.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Is supremely talented with enough size for the National Hockey League, and he has already displayed the durability and stamina needed to be a No. 1 goaltender.
Flaws: Must continue to learn North American shooters’ tendencies, as well as continue to make adjustments away from the Finnish Liiga. Also needs to play with more consistency.
Career Potential: Talented goaltender with good upside.
Season Stats
G Min W L OTL GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
6 333 4 2 0 14 2.52 153 139 .908 1
Career Stats
Year Team G Min W L T OTL EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2013 CAL 9 501 4 4 0 0 0 21 2.51 193 172 .891 0Jon Gillies

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Calgary has agreed to terms with goalie prospect Jon Gillies. He has played for the past three seasons with Providence. In 2014-15, he was named the Hockey East Goaltender of the Year and the NCAA Division 1 Tournament Most Outstanding Player en route to a national championship. Gillies was a third-round pick of the Flames in 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: A huge goalkeeper who can cover up a lot of the net with his body, he is also as cool as a cucumber under pressure (and displays the ideal mentality for the goaltending position).
Flaws: Needs to learn professional shooters’ tendencies and prove he can handle a heavy workload at the highest level in order to maximize his vast potential in the National Hockey League.
Career Potential: Huge, talented goaltender with big upside.
Mason McDonald

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SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Has a very tall frame, so size will be a major asset going forward. His glove hand is excellent. Catches right-handed, so he instantly holds a bit of an edge over his opponents for that.
Flaws: Gets into trouble because he goes down on his knees a bit too much (and too early) at times, so he needs to trust his 6-4 frame a little more in order to maximize his potential.
Career Potential: Lanky, talented goaltender with good upside.

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of Weliveforhockey.com
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