Right, so we have Kipper. Without a doubt, our best goalie.
Kipper is 35, Plays around 70 games a season, should be 60. Has a .914 Save %, has a 2.45 GAA, has won 311 out of 599 games and holds every record there is for Goaltenders with the Flames.
He has two more years with the Flames technically. However this year he'll make 5 million, next year he'll make 1.5, I somehow doubt he'll be staying to make a million dollars after just making 5. His caphit will still be 5.8 Million though. Conveniently, his NMC ended last year. So he can be traded anywhere this year.
So he's leaving soon. I dont know if he resigns.
Who do we have waiting to take his place?
Karlsson is our current backup. He hasnt exactly been impressive though. Out of 14 full games played he's managed to win FIVE. 8 of those games ended up in overtime though. .905 Save%, 2.79 GAA. His contract is up after this season though.
We also have Irving, who stepped in and surprised everyone last year when Karlsson caught the injury bug. Didnt play much, didnt win much, but he showed that he has the will and the skill to be considered for backup goalie. He isnt signed currently, and it's rumoured that he wants an NHL job, so he wont be signing any AHL deals.
Karri Ramo has been playing in the KHL, and I havent seen much of him. Popular opinion states he is the best goalie in the KHL. As far as I'm aware, his contract with Omsk is up next year.
So what do we do next year? Kipper will be on his last year and might just retire. So if we trade him, nows the time. Karlsson is still signed for another year. So going into next year, we might have a tandem of Karlsson and Irving. Should we keep Kipper this year and hope we brute force our way to a cup? (which is the only reason we should keep him and not waste his season.) Should we roll the dice and trade him for picks/towards a No.1 Center/Prospect and go with a tandem of Karlsson and Irving this year, hoping they surprise us and force us into a bottom seed playoff spot and then sign Ramo next year? Keep kipper into next year, send Karlsson to the AHL and have Irving play backup until next year when we trade Kipper on his last year and sign Ramo? Extend Kipper and sign Ramo, trading Irving? Bank on Karlsson?
He will not re-sign imo I think he will head back home/ go for a cup. I think this year Irving is given the backup roll and allowed to play ~25 games to see if he can handle the NHL if he is ready then kipper is moved next year for defensive prospects, if he is not ready we give Ramo the backup job and see if he is ready.
Roll with Kipper and Irving, move Karlsson somewhere but ideally as a 3rd string somehow.
Depending on how the season goes, we either might see some more wins (Irving being proficient) or an early changing of the guard (The team falls apart and we trade Kipper).
Or we can just do things the same way for the last 3 years.
Less games for Kipper...until we need him to win the rest of the season...
With a new coach in, I think Irving will play many more games than he did this season. With his NMC gone, as you said, I bet he will be traded before or at the deadline. (depending on our stays) But hey, if we are in a playoff spot, keep Kipper on the team.
I don't think it's that complex. Karlsson will likely be waived and sent to the 'A'. I don't see any teams trading for him. Marginal NHL goalies pass through waivers every September, teams always seem to be optimistic about there Gs after the preseason.