Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff today officially announced his NHL retirement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, for although Kiprusoff had one season remaining on his contract, it was widely anticipated he would retire. This move closes the door on the “Iggy-Kipper” era of the Calgary Flames, in which from 2003-04 to 2012-13 the club was led by Kiprusoff and former captain Jarome Iginla.
Acquired by the Flames from the San Jose Sharks early in the 2003-04 season, Kiprusoff would spend the remainder of his NHL career as a Flame, establishing himself for several seasons among the league’s elite goaltenders. He carried the upstart Flames all the way to Game Seven of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, and was a finalist for the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
He went on to become a true workhorse in goal for the Flames, reeling off seven consecutive 35-plus win seasons, including three 40-plus win seasons. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2005-06 as the NHL’s top goaltender, and is the Flames all-time leader in wins (305), games played (576) and shutouts (41).
Last season, however, Kiprusoff was hampered by injury, posting his worst numbers since his sophomore NHL season with the Sharks in 2002-03. With only one season left on his contract , the Flames in full rebuild mode and due to turn 37 in October, Kiprusoff decided to bring down the curtain on his playing day. He’ll be long remembered by Flames fans as one of the team’s all-time greats, as well as one of Finland’s greatest players.