Cammalleri deal could end Kiprusoff's reign with Flames

Lost in the shuffle that brought Mike Cammalleri back to Calgary is the fact Calgary may just have landed Miikka Kiprusoff’s replacement as part of the six-man deal.

And if indeed Karri Ramo is as good as advertised, how soon will the Flames look to make the move many fans in the Sea of Red have long dreaded: The trading of No. 34?

After all, his no-movement clause expires this July.

While Cammalleri was certainly the primary player in the six-player swap with Montreal Thursday, Flames GM Jay Feaster wasted no time letting people know his European scouts were convinced the star goaltender of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Avangard Omsk is “the best goalie in Europe.”

Few in the hockey world disagree.

“Ramo is one of the best goaltenders in the KHL considering that his club frequently changes coaches,” confirmed Russian scribe Dmitry Chesnokov.

“He would probably be able to be a starter in the NHL and battle with (Flames backup Henrik) Karlsson to take Kiprusoff’s spot at one point.”

News of the deal didn’t go unnoticed by Ramo himself, who was in immediate contact with his agent, Todd Diamond, to share his excitement all the way from Russia.

“His desire is entirely to return to the NHL,” said Diamond. “He’s very excited about the trade. We never had any dialogue with Montreal because he knew the situation with Carey Price and that he wouldn’t get a shot there. It made his decision to sign a two-year deal with Omsk easy last summer.”

The former sixth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning blossomed into a Russian superstar last year when he posted a stunning 33-6-4 record with a 1.97 goals against average.