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NHL trade deadline: Miikka Kiprusoff expected to remain with Flames

Miikka Kiprusoff has reportedly decided to remain with the Calgary Flames. How will this affect the Toronto Maple Leafs' search for a veteran goaltender?

Dale MacMillan

Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is expected to remain with the Flames for the remainder of the year and then retire, according to Darren Dreger of TSN on Wednesday morning.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were given permission by the Flames to speak directly with Kiprusoff and his agent, Larry Kelly, earlier this week. By all accounts, the Maple Leafs are interested in acquiring a veteran goaltender.

While Kiprusoff's contract no longer contains any type of no-movement protection, it was widely reported that he would opt not to report in the event of a trade. Kiprusoff and his wife recently had a child, which is believed to have complicated the situation further.

Kiprusoff is playing in the fifth year of a six-year, $35 million contract that carries an annual average value of $5.8 million. The contract was one of the first back-loaded deals, which will pay him only $1.5 million next season after paying him upwards of $5 million in the previous five years. His former head coach, Mike Keenan, recently stated that Kiprusoff negotiated this contract with the understanding that he was going to retire before the final year of the deal.

This dynamic was also believed to be a stumbling point in the Maple Leafs attempt to acquire the 36-year-old goaltender, as he potentially would want an extension to earn more money.

With Kiprusoff no longer a possibility, speculation has resumed about the potential of Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is believed to have altered his asking price, which could make a potential deal more attractive to Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis.

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