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The link between Kiprusoff and the lack of goalies in minor hockey

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, from Finland, dives on the puck during second period NHL hockey action against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Calgary, Alta., on Friday, March 29, 2013.
Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, from Finland, dives on the puck during second period NHL hockey action against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Calgary, Alta., on Friday, March 29, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

There appears to be a shortage of goaltenders in Calgary minor hockey, according to Kevin Kobelka, executive director for Hockey Calgary.

 Kobelka told Global News his organization is still finalizing their registration numbers for the 2016-17 hockey season, but it looks like there could be a significant shortage of goalies in the Atom, Bantom and Pee Wee levels this year.

Despite the current state of the economy, player registration numbers across the city are holding steady compared to last year. The only notable change is the lack of keepers entering the system.

Kobelka attributes this deficit to what he calls, the Kiprusoff effect. When Mikka Kiprusoff was playing for the Calgary Flames as one of the hottest goalies in the NHL, local kids were clamouring to be netminders.

Following Kiprusoff’s departure from the Flames organization in 2013 there was a notable void in star goaltenders for the team. That void directly coincided with a drop in interest for playing between the pipes in the Calgary minor hockey association.

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Kobelka is hoping that Brian Elliott’s Calgary signing will inspire young kids to pick up the big pads once again.

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