With somewhat of a surprise move, the Calgary Flames placed both potential backup goalies on waivers Thursday afternoon, according to TSN.ca. Both Henrik Karlsson and Leland Irving were put on the wire and are now available to be claimed by any NHL team, up until Friday at 12:00pm EST.
The backup job for the Flames was said to be up for grabs between Karlsson and Irving with either to get very little playing time behind number one netminder, Miikka Kiprusoff.
Kiprusoff is expected to play the majority of the 48-game schedule and recently, Flames general manager, Jay Feaster went on record to say that he will likely play well over 40 games this year.
Should both Karlsson and Irving be claimed it would leave the Flames in a unique predicament with no current backup on the books. Kari Ramo is in the Flames minor league system and he does have NHL experience. After that it’s slim pickings.
Of course a trade involving an additional netminder could always be made or perhaps Feaster is rolling the dice, hoping that either one of the two don’t get claimed or another backup becomes available via the waiver wire.
Last season, Karlsson went 1-4-2 during nine games with Calgary while posting a 3.17 GAA and a .900 save percentage. Irving played in seven games for the Flames in 2011-12, going 1-3-3 with a 3.20 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Of course Kiprusoff has been the epitome of a workhorse throughout his career in Calgary, a move that often brings criticism that he may be burnt out by season’s end. With a shortened season, the Flames could be the biggest beneficiary of the 48-game slate, providing Kiprusoff can avoid his slow start and most importantly, stay healthy.