The Calgary Flames were quite active this summer with compelling moves to boost the team, however, many believe nothing would be done in net. After all, last season, veteran Mike Smith proved to be every bit the goaltender GM Brad Treliving traded for.
The 35-year-old goalie made a great first impression, though things went down hill at the end of the season, but he still managed to post a respectable .916 save percentage while appearing in 55 games. Smith has one year left on a deal paying him a cap-friendly $4.25 million.
There were questions on who would be the best backup netminder for Smith, seeing that goaltending was a massive issue when Smith wasn't between the pipes. Be it David Rittich, Jon Gillies or Eddie Lack, it seemed quite the struggle to find the perfect fit. However, with younger players like Gillies and Rittich, there is hope.
Rittich turns 26 this summer and is a restricted free agent who is clearly up for a raise from the $725,000 he made during his breakthrough season.
The Flames decided to bring the competition in their own roster up a notch on Monday, when they signed goalie Jeff Glass to a professional tryout. I guess you can never have too many options in between the pipes...
Glass has worked hard to make his mark in the National Hockey League, and surely won't be afraid to compete for a roster spot at the Flames' training camp.
Glass was part of Canada’s famous 2005 world junior squad, winning gold alongside Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Shea Weber, Dion Phaneuf, and Patrice Bergeron, to name a few. He however failed to make the Ottawa Senators the following season, and left the AHL for the KHL, where he played seven seasons before returning to North America in 2016-17.
Last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, Glass has a 3-7-3 record, a 3.36 goals against average and a save percentage of .898 in his first 15 games in the NHL. He did get some experience in the league and is looking to impress the Flames' management ahead of the upcoming season.
Smith is unfortunately known to often struggle with injuries, and Glass could once again come and save the day, like he did in Chicago when Corey Crawford ended up on the sidelines around Christmas time.
It will surely boost players like Gillies and Rittich to step their game up in the coming weeks.