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Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff decides to stay put

04/03/2013 05:11 EDT | Updated 06/03/2013 05:12 EDT
Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff elected to stay with the Calgary Flames on trade deadline day.

Flames general manager Jay Feaster on Wednesday confirmed reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs requested permission to speak with the veteran Finnish netminder to try and persuade him to join the Eastern Canadian club.

"I've been doing lots of thinking the last few days," said Kiprusoff, who was slated to back up starting goalie Joey MacDonald during Calgary's home game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. "This morning I talked with Jay Feaster and I told him for me I would love to stay here and finish off the season as a Flame."

Kiprusoff decided not to move for the second time in his NHL career and retirement has not crossed his mind yet.

"That's one option," he said. "I'd really like to finish the season and after that I'm going to make my decision. I'd really like to talk with the Flames before that and to go from there."

The player and his wife recently welcomed a baby boy born prematurely.

"From his perspective given the family situation and the new baby, he just doesn't feel that he's ready to move on, that he didn't want to go to another organization [and] that he would like to finish things here," he said. "I think the world of him. I love the competitor that he is. This has been a hard time. The reality of it is that there are a lot of difficult circumstances here."

Feaster said there was another expression of interest in Kiprusoff's services from several teams.

"One of those teams then got back and said we're not in a situation where we can take the cap hit of his contract for next year," Feaster said. "The team that continued to be interested was Toronto so I entered into discussions a with Dave Nonis and ultimately gave Toronto permission to speak with Miikka and his agent, Larry Kelly."

However, the goalie wasn't 100 per cent sure about joining the Maple Leafs.

"Miikka was clear that he didn't want to lead Toronto on, that he didn't want to go there if his heart wasn't 100 per cent set on it and committed to it," Feaster said. "Again, in having the conversation with Miikka today, we made the decision that we're going to keep Miikka Kiprusoff here. He is a member of the Calgary Flames."

Kiprusoff, 36, has struggled badly this season, during which he's dealt with the first injury that required him to miss several games since coming to Calgary early in the 2003-04 season.

He is 6-10-2 in 18 games this season in Calgary, with a 3.64 goals-against average and an .868 save percentage. His appearances were interrupted by a knee sprain suffered in February.

The workhorse has averaged over 70 games per season since arriving from San Jose nearly a decade ago.

Kiprusoff has one year remaining on his contract with the Flames, with a cap hit of just over $5.8 million U.S.

There has been speculation that Kiprusoff will retire at the end of this season, but Feaster wouldn't confirm whether that would happen.

The Flames on Wednesday did send Blake Comeau to Columbus for a fifth round pick in 2013, citing NHL rules regarding the completion of paperwork of trades.

Comeau was claimed on waivers last season from the New York Islanders. He's scored nine goals and 13 assists for the Flames in 91 games spread over the two seasons, with one short-handed marker.

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