Through yesterday’s news cycle the Flames resigning of goaltender Jon Gillies slipped through the cracks (in all fairness it wasn’t announced until today). The Flames and the Concord NH native agreed on a new, 2 year $1.5 million dollar contract.
The deal sets Calgary up with a potential combination of Mike Smith and Jon Gillies at the NHL level next season. The Flames also are working with David Rittich through salary arbitration as well.
Both Rittich and Gillies saw NHL time last season, with the aforementioned Rittich getting more time as Smith’s backup when he was injured. Rittich finished the season with a record of 8-6-3, a Save % of .902 and a GAA of 2.92. Gillies went 3-5-1 in 9 starts with a .896 Save % and 2.88 GAA. Neither were outstanding during their time, especially Rittich when he was appointed the starter. Rittich went 2-6-1 in his last 8 games between the pipes.
Where this leaves the Flames is unknown right now. You have to figure they’ll get a deal worked out with Rittich and then let the two of them battle it out in training camp for the backup role. Smith is under contract for the coming season and despite his team MVP caliber play last season, you’d think the Flames would want a younger options when he becomes a UFA. Gillies is 24 and Rittich is 25, so there isn’t a major age gap between the two goaltenders.
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Who Should Be Mike Smith’s Backup?
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