Crease questions for Flames

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Calgary Flames backup goaltender Philippe Sauve, who avoided a suspension or a fine for his role in a late-game dust-up in Colorado Tuesday, has been placed on waivers.

Calgary GM/head coach Darryl Sutter wouldn't confirm or deny the transaction and didn't answer when asked yesterday at the team's hotel whether it was true one of his players was indeed on waivers.

The move could mean one of a few scenarios.

One could be to make room for another netminder to be brought in by trade. There are several goaltenders believed to be on the market, ranging from Florida's Roberto Luongo and Montreal's Jose Theodore to Buffalo's Mika Noronen and San Jose's Vesa Toskala.

Another could be so Sauve could be sent to the minors to receive more playing time, having played in only two games since Dec. 7.

Or else it could be the Flames are disappointed with his performance this season and are willing to expose him with the belief another goaltender could be found.

Through eight games this season, the rookie has posted a 3.28 goals-against average and .891 save percentage to go with a 3-3-0 record.

In his last start, Sauve surrendered seven goals on 27 shots in a 7-4 loss to Colorado and was ejected in the final minute after going the length of the ice to get into an altercation with Avalanche goalie David Aebischer.

Yesterday the word came down no supplemental discipline would be handed out from league v.p. and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell. Sutter was expecting that result.

"It's what I said after the game ... there was no fight," Sutter said.

"I agree with Kerry and Dennis (referees Fraser and LaRue), because they're veteran referees but what it shows is the goaltender's focus, or lack of focus, became a frustration point for him and that was his reaction.

"There wasn't a punch thrown. They could have given them two minutes for wiping mascara off, or something like that."

With 31.3 seconds left in the game, Sauve joined in a melee in front of the Colorado goal and tangled with Avs netminder David Aebischer.

Sauve was assessed minor penalties for leaving the crease and an instigating, major for fighting and game misconduct.

Under Rule 56a, any player instigating a fight in the final five minutes of a game or overtime is to receive a 10-minute misconduct and one-game suspension.

As well, the coach faces a $10,000 fine.

However, the league has not doled out the extra punishment in the past -- most notably when Phoenix captain Shane Doan was handed an instigator after an incident with Anaheim's Vitaly Vishnevski.


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