NHL Trade Rumors: 9 Teams That Could Win a Cup With Miikka Kiprusoff in Net
The Calgary Flames’ previous success is due in large part to the veteran goaltending presence in their net: Miikka Kiprusoff. Unfortunately, since the Flames are struggling this year, Kiprusoff is as well.
This season, Kiprusoff is one of the targets of fans’ ire, unusual for the fan-favorite. Kiprusoff won’t be winning a Stanley Cup with the Flames this year, but here’s a list of teams he could win one with.
9. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers fell in the Stanley Cup Finals last season because their defense seemed to tire out. Part of it was the goaltending. The team performed well through various injuries to their starting and back-up goaltenders.
This season, they have a great goaltender in rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and have Brian Boucher healthy, for the time being at least. They waived Michael Leighton because of Bobrovsky and Boucher.
But, if Boucher becomes injured again, can the Flyers rely on the rookie to guide them through the playoffs? See Semyon Varlamov and the Washington Capitals in 2009.
To avoid such a scenario, the Flyers should add another veteran goaltender as a safety net.
8. Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens managed to upset typical Eastern conference powerhouses Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins with the amazing performance of Jaroslav Halak. Following their season, they inexplicably traded away Halak, leaving the net to Carey Price.
Price has been a great goaltender this season, but as evidenced from his performance in the playoffs last season, he can be inconsistent. The Canadiens should have another reliable goaltender in case Price goes into a funk again.
7. Phoenix Coyotes
Despite the Phoenix Coyotes’ past woes, they remain a playoff contender, currently sitting at the 6th spot
in the West. Last year, they were no match for the Detroit Red Wings. They could use the goaltending experience that Kiprusoff has.
6. San Jose Sharks
Kiprusoff began his first three years with the Sharks, before becoming a Calgary Flame. The Sharks have previously a good team, with Nabokov in net.
Many analysts believed they were in line to get their names on the Cup. Then their goaltender Evgeni Nabokov left the NHL for his native Russia.
This year, the Sharks are struggling defensively. They could use another solid goaltending presence. Perhaps they should reinvest in Kiprusoff?
5. Chicago Blackhawks
The defending Stanley Cup champs shipped many members of their Stanley Cup-winning squad away during the off-season. One of them was their goaltender Antti Niemi.
Granted, it was their defense that won them the Stanley Cup last year, but they don’t even have Dustin Byfuglien anymore to park in front of the net to block shots.
If they want another Cup, they’ll need a better goaltender.
4. Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are currently sitting at the 9th spot in the Western Conference. They’ll be looking
to make a playoff push and they’ll need a solid goaltender to help them there.
It seems like they’re not going to find it in Craig Anderson, whose save percentage varies between barely over .900 or below it. Those numbers aren’t going to win a Stanley Cup. Kiprusoff has better career numbers, maybe he could help.
3. Detroit Red Wings
Since Chris Osgood is out with an injury, the Red Wings were looking for stability to back-up Jimmy Howard. They thought they could get Evgeni Nabokov, but obviously that fell through.
They should look to Kiprusoff to back-up Howard in net.
The Red Wings are one of those elite organizations that are probably always going to have a playoff berth, but they’ll get farther with Kiprusoff backing Howard up than Joey MacDonald backing him up.
2. Washington Capitals
The Capitals have seemed like “the team to most likely win the Stanley Cup next,” the past couple of years. But after winning the President’s Trophy last year, then falling in the first round of the playoffs to the Montreal Canadiens, management made a lot of changes.
One of those changes was to not re-sign veteran goaltender Jose Theodore, leaving the net in the hands of young and inexperienced playoff goalies Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth.
If the Capitals want to win the Stanley Cup, they will need a better goaltending presence, especially a veteran with playoff experience.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning have had inconsistent goaltending in Mike Smith and Dan Ellis. Yzerman brought Dwayne Roloson to town to try to rectify that.
Roloson has played extremely well with the Lightning since his arrival, but at 41 years old, how much more can the Lightning expect to get out of them?
The Lightning are building a franchise and will be Stanley Cup contenders once they get the kinks ironed out. They should invest in a goaltender who can be their number one guy for a number of years.