The no-trade clause is a show of faith to a professional athlete but can also be his team's biggest weakness in any negotiations intent on moving the player to another team entirely.
Toronto had been keen on adding goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff over the past few days, and Kiprusoff himself was eager on a change of scenery to a playoff contender as late as Tuesday evening. However, he had a change of heart on Wednesday—as reported by Darren Dreger—and could be opting toward retirement at the end of the season instead:
lots of discussion this morning, however sources indicate Kiprusoff will stay in Calgary and retire at the end of the season.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 3, 2013
Kiprusoff told Leafs yesterday he was keen on trade. Perhaps, spooked by market and expectation. Leafs not upset. Respect Kipper's decision.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 3, 2013
Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun also reported that the Leafs and Flames were reportedly done dealing, a move that should place their interest on Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo and other options before Wednesday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.
After an absolute dud of a game on Monday (and a dud of season, as well), Kiprusoff appeared ready to move on from the team he has been with for the past eight seasons.
Kiprusoff played just over 16 minutes of ice time on Monday against Edmonton, stopping just three goals to the three he allowed in Calgary's 4-1 loss. The match continued the 36-year-old's decline this season, one in which he holds just a 6-10-2 record coupled with a league-low save percentage of .868.
With only 30 points and sitting in fourth in the Northwest division, the Flames have been considered sellers for most of the season.
Jarome Iginla moved on to Pittsburgh earlier in the week (via Yahoo! Sports), and Calgary had a decent chance to add a couple of young prospects/contributors or maybe a draft pick by sending the veteran goalie to Toronto.
The Leafs had interest, but Kiprusoff nixed the deal before the two sides could reach an agreement.
It might be in the best interest of the veteran goalie. With his declining play coupled with Calgary's rough season, retirement might be the best option for all parties involved. That would require Kiprusoff to miss the last year of his contract, but many feel the birth of his young child and aging body are enough to retire a Flame this offseason.
Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun reported that Kiprusoff would address the media after the team's game against Edmonton on Wednesday night, presumably to address retirement rumors:
#Flames say Miikka Kiprusoff will speak after the game.— Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) April 3, 2013
While Kiprusoff gets a chance to fulfill a dream to retire with a team, the move is a disappointment for the Flames. Keeping an old friend around until he retires is always a heartwarming part of sports, but the Flames will lose out on any return that Toronto might have offered to acquire the goalie's services.
Back to the drawing board for the Flames, who have very little time to do something before the 3 p.m. ET deadline. For now, consider Kiprusoff off the board in any deal, in large part because a change of scenery didn't appeal to the long-time Calgary star.
So goes the no-trade clause.