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VIDEO: Calgary Flames fans give Miikka Kiprusoff big send-off

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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The Calgary Flames played their final home game of the season Friday night, a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. It was also likely the last game Miikka Kiprusoff plays in Calgary.

If it indeed was Kiprusoff's last game in Calgary, the fans wanted to make sure they got in their thanks.

The final minute of play turned into one long ovation for Kiprusoff, the man who has been guarding the goals in Calgary since 2003-04 when he came over from San Jose. The Calgary faithful snuck a "Kipper! Kipper!" chant in there, too.

Things hit a crescendo when Kiprusoff was named the No. 1 star of the game, a little more than a token offer seeing how he only surrendered one goal. The Saddledome reached a sound level they haven't heard often in Calgary in recent seasons, all in honor of Kiprusoff.

"It was an unbelievable feeling," Kiprusoff said after the game. He seemed to be embracing the fact that it was his last game in Calgary as well, waving to the fans with the puck in his glove.

Retirement became a very real possibility earlier this season when trade rumors were circulating around Kiprusoff and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He said he wasn't going to consent to a trade and it was reported he might hang up the skates at the end of the season anyway.

When a guy has meant as much to the franchise the way Kiprusoff has, fans take note. They were able to give Kiprusoff a great send-off if this truly was it for him in a way they couldn't do with Jarome Iginla before he was traded.

Kiprusoff has 305 career wins for the Flames and has been an absolute work horse for them over the years. In the seven seasons between lockouts, Kiprusoff never played fewer than 70 games in a season, twice playing in 76. In 2008-09 he led all NHL goalies with 45 wins. He also won the Vezina Trophy in 2005-06.

In the season prior to the lockout, in 2003-04, Kiprusoff backstopped the Flames all the way to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final. In 26 postseason games that season he had a .928 save percentage and a 1.85 goals against average.

Kipper did say after the game that if his teammates had their way, he'd be back for another season. So perhaps Calgary could have another send-off in a year's time.

If not, then this worked pretty well.

 
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