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Miikka Kiprusoff
MKiprusoff.jpg
Born October 26, 1976 (1976-10-26) (age 42)
Turku, Finland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 187 lb (85 kg; 13 st 5 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Played for TPS
AIK
Timrå IK
San Jose Sharks
Calgary Flames
National team Flag of Finland.svg Finland
NHL Draft 116th overall, 1995
San Jose Sharks
Playing career 1994–2013

Miikka Kiprusoff (born Miikka Sakari Kiprusoff on October 26, 1976) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks during his National Hockey League (NHL) career.

He was selected in the fifth round (116th overall) by the Sharks in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

Miikka also played for TPS of the Finnish SM-liiga as well as AIK and Timrå IK of the Swedish Elitserien.

He represented Finland several times on the international stage, earning silver medals at the World Ice Hockey Championships in 1999 and 2001, as well as leading the Finns to a surprise second place finish at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Miikka also helped the Finnish national hockey team win the bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

He began his professional career with TPS in 1994, and was named the best goaltender and best player of the playoffs in 1999 as he led them to the SM-liiga championship.

Miikka moved to North America in 1999. After two all-star seasons in the American Hockey League, he made his NHL debut with the Sharks where he served primarily as a backup.

A trade to Calgary in 2003–04 brought Miikka into a starting role and he set a modern NHL record for lowest goals against average at 1.69 as he helped the Flames reach the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.

In 2006, Miikka won the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender in the NHL along with the William M. Jennings Trophy for giving up the fewest goals in the league.

He played in his first NHL All-Star Game in 2007 and is the Flames franchise record holder in wins and shutouts.

Playing CareerEdit

European Hockey CareerEdit

Miikka was sponsored by his hometown team, TPS Turku, playing two seasons in the Finnish junior league for them between 1993 and 1995.

He was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round (116th overall) at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

Miikka made his professional debut in 1994–95 and won three of four games played for TPS.

After playing 12 games for TPS in 1995–96, Miikka moved to AIK of the Swedish Elitserien, playing two seasons as their top goaltender before returning to TPS in 1998–99.

He dominated the SM-liiga that year, finishing the season with a win-loss-tie record of 26–6–6 and a goals against average (GAA) of 1.85 and led TPS to the Finnish championship.

For his efforts, Miikka was named the winner of the Urpo Ylönen trophy as the best goaltender in 1998–99 and the Jari Kurri trophy as the best player of the playoffs.

San Jose SharksEdit

Miikka moved to North America in 1999, joining the Sharks American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Kentucky Thoroughblades.

He finished fourth in the league with a 2.48 GAA and was the starting goaltender for team PlanetUSA at the 2000 AHL All-Star Game as he helped Kentucky win its first division title.

Miikka began the 2000–01 season with Kentucky where he posted a record of 19–9–6 with two shutouts in 39 games.

He began his second consecutive AHL All-Star game before earning a recall to the Sharks on March 5, 2001.

On March 29, 2001, Miikka earned his first NHL win, 7–4 over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in relief of starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

On April 8, 2001, he made his first start again against Anaheim and earned his second win.

The flu sidelined Nabokov for game four of the Sharks' 2001 Stanley Cup playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.

Making only his second career start, Miikka made 39 saves in a 3–2 victory. In doing so, he became the first Finnish born goaltender to win an NHL playoff game.

Miikka struggled to start the 2001–02 NHL season and was sent to the Cleveland Barons on a conditioning assignment after playing in only four of the Sharks first 21 games.

He was named the AHL player of the week during the assignment after winning all four games he played in Cleveland.

Miikka finished the season with a 7–6–1 record for the Sharks and recorded his first NHL shutout in a 6–0 win over the Florida Panthers on January 5, 2002.

Nabokov entered the 2002–03 season as a holdout player without a contract, giving Miikka a chance to become the starter.

He struggled, losing his first three games and posting a 5.65 GAA in that time, forcing the Sharks hand as they quickly agreed to terms with Nabokov.

Relegated to the backup role, Miikka continued to struggle, winning just five of 22 games played before his season ended with a knee injury.

Despite his poor season, the Sharks offered Miikka a new contract for one year at US$800,000.

He began the 2003–04 season competing with Vesa Toskala for the backup spot behind Nabokov, leading to speculation of a trade.

Relegated to third-string status, he grew increasingly frustrated as he did not play in any games through the first quarter of the season.

On November 16, 2003, Miikka was finally traded to the Calgary Flames for a second round draft pick after Calgary starter Roman Turek suffered an injury.

Calgary FlamesEdit

The trade provided immediate dividends for the Flames as Miikka recorded 22 saves in a 2–1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in his first game with Calgary on November 20, 2003

He won 12 of 17 starts between November 20 and December 29, 2003 giving up one goal or fewer 11 times in that stretch.

Miikka was named the defensive player of the month for December by the league, but he suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee at the end of the month that forced him out of the lineup for four weeks.

Miikka's play remained strong upon his return as he was counted on to lead the Flames to the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

A 1–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes clinched a berth in the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Flames, an achievement which earned Miikka a standing ovation from the Calgary fans.

He finished the regular season with a modern NHL record low GAA of 1.69. Miikka's stellar play continued into the playoffs as he won 15 games, five of them by shutout, leading the Flames to within one victory of a Stanley Cup championship.

Miikka was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the best goaltender in the league and was given a one-year, $2.95 million contract for 2004–05 by an arbitrator, an increase in salary of nearly four times his previous contract.

As the 2004-05 NHL lockout led to the cancellation of the season, he chose to play in Sweden.

Miiika played 41 games for Timrå IK, recording five shutouts and a 2.14 GAA. He remained a top goaltender for Calgary when NHL play resumed in 2005–06, breaking Mike Vernon's franchise record when he recorded his 40th win of the season, against the Minnesota Wild on April 8, 2006.

Miikka was not only touted as the top goaltender in the league, but also argued to be a candidate for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the NHL.

Finishing the season with a 42–20–11 record and a team record 10 shutouts, he was named a first team all-star and awarded the Vezina Trophy as well as the William M. Jennings Trophy for being the goaltender on the team that gave up the fewest goals in during the season.

Miikka was also named a finalist for the Hart even though the award was won by Joe Thornton.

He struggled to begin the 2006–07 season, winning just four of his first 12 decisions and giving up nearly three goals per game.

Miikka rebounded to finish the season with 40 wins, won his 100th career game, and played in his first All-Star Game.

He recorded his 21st shutout in a Flames uniform in a 1–0 win over the Wild on March 27, 2007, to break Dan Bouchard's franchise record.

Miikka was outstanding in the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs, keeping the overmatched Flames close to the top seeded Detroit Red Wings despite the Flames giving up nearly 50 shots per game in their first two contests.

He led them to consecutive wins in games three and four to even the series and gave the Flames hope they could win the series, but the Flames were unable to parlay his performance into a series win, losing the best-of-seven series 4–2.

In game five, Miikka was pulled after giving up five goals, but was forced to come back in only 18 seconds later when his backup, Jamie McLennan was thrown out of the game for deliberately slashing the Red Wings' Johan Franzen.

He earned his third consecutive nomination for the Vezina trophy, ultimately won by Martin Brodeur.

Nicknamed "Captain Hook" for the way he handled goaltenders, the Flames decision to hire Mike Keenan as head coach in 2007–08 created speculation that Miikka might choose to leave Calgary when his contract expired at the end of the season.

Nonetheless, he agreed to a six-year extension worth $35 million that would keep him in Calgary until the end of the 2013–14 season.

Miikka struggled at times, as his goals against average and save percentage fell outside of the top 30 goaltenders in the league by mid-November.

His play improved throughout the season and he finished the season third in the league with 39 wins.

Hoping to rebound in 2008–09, Miikka arrived for the start of the season in better shape, but continued to struggle as he was questioned on whether his heavy workload the previous three seasons (he played 76, 74 and 74 games of a possible 82) were taking a toll on him.

He won his 200th career game on March 18, 2009, in a 2–1 victory over the Dallas Stars, but questions about whether Miikka was playing too many games continued throughout the season.

Although Miikka led the league with 45 wins, his statistical averages had deteriorated for the fourth consecutive season as he admitted he struggled.

New head coach Brent Sutter promised that Miikka would face a lighter schedule in 2009–10, he played 76 games in 2008–09 while he hired a personal trainer and set aside his previously indifferent attitude towards off-season training.

Miikka's efforts appeared to pay dividends early in the season, as he lost only three of his first 17 decisions, leading his teammates to compare his early performance to his first years in Calgary.

He finished in the top ten in the league in wins, save percentage and goals against average. While he considered a potential candidate for the Vezina Trophy, Miikka was not named a finalist in part due to the fact the Flames failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Miikka and the entire Flames team struggled early in the 2010–11 season, and during a period of struggle late in January, he became a target of the fans' jeering.

He admitted that he had struggled and was trying to focus on returning his play to where he felt it should be.

Miikka's fortunes improved in February, as he won his 250th game as a member of the Flames in a 9–1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on February 14, 2011.

Six nights later, he became the first goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in an outdoor game with a 4–0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the 2011 Heritage Classic.

In a March 4, 2011 game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Miikka became the first goaltender in 25 years to stop two penalty shots in one game to preserve a 4–3 victory.

On February 8, 2012, he became the 27th goalie to record his 300th career win. He reached the mark with a 4–3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

A knee injury forced Miikka out of Calgary's lineup for a month of the 2012–13 NHL season, but a victory in his return (a 4–1 decision over the Sharks on March 6, 2013) marked his 300th win as a member of the Flames.

At the 2013 trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly attempted to acquire Miikka, but he elected not to waive his no-trade clause amid speculation that he intended to retire at season's end.

Finnish news agency STT-Lehtikuva reported in June that Miikka had informed the Finnish national team that he had decided to end his playing career and the Flames formally announced his retirement on September 9, 2013.

Miikka ended his career as the Flames' franchise leader in wins (305), shutouts (44) and games played by a goaltender (576).

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1994–95 TPS SM-l 4  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 0 3.00  ? 13  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
1995–96 TPS SM-l 12  ?  ?  ? 550 38 0 4.14  ? 3  ?  ? 114 4  ? 2.10  ?
1996–97 AIK IF Elit 42  ?  ?  ? 2466 104 3 2.53  ? 7  ?  ? 420 23  ? 3.28  ?
1997–98 AIK Elit 42  ?  ?  ? 2457 110 0 2.69  ? 5  ?  ? 300 8  ? 1.60  ?
1998–99 TPS SM-l 39 26 6 6 2260 70 4 1.85  ? 10 9 1 580 15 3 1.55  ?
1999–00 Kentucky Thoroughblades AHL 47 23 19 4 2759 144 3 2.48 .924 5 1 3 239 13 0 3.27 .904
2000–01 Kentucky Thoroughblades AHL 36 19 9 6 2038 76 2 2.24 .926
2000–01 San Jose Sharks NHL 5 2 1 0 154 5 0 1.95 .902 3 1 1 149 5 0 2.01 .937
2001–02 Cleveland Barons AHL 4 4 0 0 242 7 0 1.73 .949
2001–02 San Jose Sharks NHL 20 7 6 3 1041 43 2 2.49 .915 1 0 0 7 0 0 0.00 1.000
2002–03 San Jose Sharks NHL 22 5 14 0 1199 65 1 3.25 .879
2003–04 Calgary Flames NHL 38 24 10 4 2300 65 4 1.69 .933 26 15 11 1655 51 5 1.85 .928
2004–05 Timrå IK Elit 46  ?  ?  ? 2719 97 5 2.14 .915
2005–06 Calgary Flames NHL 74 42 20 11 4379 151 10 2.07 .923 7 3 4 428 16 0 2.24 .921
2006–07 Calgary Flames NHL 74 40 24 9 4419 181 7 2.46 .917 6 2 4 383 18 0 2.81 .929
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 76 39 26 10 4398 197 2 2.69 .906 7 2 4 336 18 1 3.21 .908
2008–09 Calgary Flames NHL 76 45 24 5 4418 209 4 2.84 .903 6 2 4 324 19 0 3.52 .884
2009–10 Calgary Flames NHL 73 35 28 10 4235 163 4 2.31 .920
2010–11 Calgary Flames NHL 71 37 24 6 4156 182 6 2.63 .906
2011–12 Calgary Flames NHL 70 35 22 11 4128 162 4 2.35 .921
2012–13 Calgary Flames NHL 24 8 14 2 1344 77 0 3.44 .882
SM-liiga totals 55 3049 120 4 2.36  ? 15 814 26 1.91  ?
Elitserien totals 130 7642 311 8 2.44  ? 13 776 36 0 2.78  ?
NHL totals 623 319 213 71 36169 1500 44 2.49 .912 56 25 28 3284 127 6 2.32 .921

International Statistics Edit

Year Comp GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1994 EJC 3 4.35
1995 WJC 2 2.58
1996 WJC 3 159 9 3.39
1999 WC 4 0 0 0 156 3 0 1.16
2001 WC 8 0 0 0 140 5 1 2.14
2004 WCH 6 4 1 1 363 9 2 1.48
2010 Oly 6 3 2 0 93 11 1 2.64
Senior int'l totals 24 7 3 1 909 28 4 1.85

All-Star Game Statistics Edit

Year Location Decision MIN SA GA GAA Sv%
2007 Dallas 20 11 3 9.00 .727
All-Star totals 0–0–0 20 11 3 9.00 .727

Awards & AchievementsEdit

SM-liiga Awards

  • SM-liiga All-Star Team (1998–99)
  • Urpo Ylönen trophy (1998–99)
  • Jari Kurri trophy (1998–99)

NHL Awards

  • First Team All-Star (2005–06)
  • Vezina Trophy (2005–06)
  • William M. Jennings Trophy (2005–06)

Calgary Flames Awards

  • Molson Cup (2005–06, 2006–07 and 2008–09)

International PlayEdit

Medal record
Competitor for Finland Finland
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Games
Bronze 2010 Vancouver
World Championship
Silver 1999 Norway
Silver 2001 Germany
World Cup
Silver 2004 World Cup of Hockey

Miikka made his international debut with the Finnish junior team at the 1994 European Junior Ice Hockey Championships where he played in three games.

He was a member of the team at the 1995 and 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships where Finland finished fourth and sixth respectively.

Miikka first played with the senior team at the 1999 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships where he recorded a 1.16 Goals against average in four games to help Finland win the silver medal.

He rejoined the team for the 2001 tournament, again leading the Finns to a silver medal.

Miikka was offered a spot on the Finnish team for the 2002 Winter Olympics, but declined citing a desire to focus on his professional career in North America.

He was named the starting goaltender for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and earned a shutout against the Czech Republic.

Miikka posted four wins and a tie, including a second shutout and a 1.18 GAA to lead the upstart Finns into the championship game against Canada.

In spite of his 30 saves, the Finns were defeated by Canada 3–2. he didn't play his best game in the final according to head coach Raimo Summanen, though he expressed pride in his team's effort.

Miikka declined an invitation to play at the 2006 Winter Olympics citing the need to rest a hip injury.

His announcement generated considerable controversy in Finland where the fact that he did not miss a game with the Flames due to the injury led some to question if he was injured at all.

Country-mate Teemu Selanne questioned Miikka's lack of interest in playing for the national team, a comment that stung Miikka.

When considered to play for the Finns at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Miikka said that he would join the team, but only if he felt healthy and if he was named the starting goaltender for the team.

Miikka was named the starter and allowed only four goals in his team's first four games which lead the Finns to a semifinal game against the United States.

The Americans blitzed him early in the game as he gave up four goals on seven shots in the first minutes of the game before being replaced in net by Niklas Backstrom.

Miikka returned to the net for the bronze medal game, leading Finland to a 5–3 victory.

Personal LifeEdit

Miikka's older brother Marko Kiprusoff played for TPS and in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens & the New York Islanders.

He and his wife Seidi have two sons named Aaro and Oskar. Miikka is a spokesman for the Rainbow Society of Alberta, an organization that aims to grant wishes for children with chronic or life-threatening conditions.

He donates $10 for each save he makes in an NHL game, totalling $18,720 in 2009–10.

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