SUN Hockey Pool

Report: Cujo considering job as Kipper's backup

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

With Curtis Joseph reportedly down to the final days of his decision-making process, the Calgary Flames are said to be on the short list.

A really short list.

Two teams, the Flames and San Jose Sharks, were mentioned in a TSN report yesterday as the likely finalists for the services of the 40-year-old goaltender who is determined to win a Stanley Cup.

A call from the Sun to Joseph's agent, Don Meehan, who also represents current Flames Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and Kristian Huselius, was not returned.

Miikka Kiprusoff has started all but one game for the Flames so far this season, and the only insurance the team has should he tire or suffer an injury is rookie Curtis McElhinney or another unproven netminder from the farm.

Joseph looked great while backstopping Canada to a Spengler Cup championship in Davos, Switzerland -- at about the same time Flames GM Darryl Sutter was in the Czech Republic to watch the world junior tournament -- and wants to return to the NHL for a chance to add a Stanley Cup to his resume.

Both the Sharks and the Flames would offer a decent opportunity, and the two clubs are in similar situations, with Evgeni Nabokov starting every game for the Sharks this year after the team dealt Vesa Toskala to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The report suggests Flames head coach Mike Keenan made a call to Joseph this week to smooth over any potential hard feelings the goaltender may have from Keenan's days as general manager of the St. Louis Blues.

Joseph was traded from the Blues to the Edmonton Oilers in 1995.

Cujo has been on the Flames' radar a couple of times before.

Then-GM Craig Button actually acquired his rights from the Maple Leafs in a deal on the eve of Joseph's unrestricted free agency in 2002 and received a compensatory draft pick as a result of his signing with the Detroit Red Wings.

There was also the thought the Flames and new GM Sutter had Joseph on a short list of possible players to bring aboard before settling on Kiprusoff in 2003 when starter Roman Turek was hurt.

"We made a list of seven or eight guys and I didn't like five or six of them, so I made my own list and there were two," recalled Sutter nearly two years later in 2005.

"One was making about eight times more than (Kiprusoff), so that narrowed it down to one. That's the truth.

"I won't say who he is, but the other guy has done really well. He's an older goalie and makes a lot of money."

Joseph was expendable in Detroit when Dominik Hasek decided to return, and played the past two seasons in Phoenix with the Coyotes before becoming an unrestricted free agent again last July.


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