SUN Hockey Pool

Cujo talk not affecting team

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

EDMONTON -- The Calgary Flames continue to await whether Curtis Joseph has accepted their overtures.

The uncertainty doesn't appear to have had any negative impact on the team.

Whether Joseph signs with the Flames -- he was to make a decision by the end of the weekend -- has not made a hot button topic in the dressing room. Nor has it made life there unsettling.

"He's an experienced player," said head coach Mike Keenan.

"Any time they can get help, or perceive to get help, they like it. You're talking about a possible experienced goaltender who can support the position."

Joseph, who couldn't find a job to his liking before the season began,has been reportedly chased lately by a few teams as the campaign begins the second half.

The Flames are one of a handful of clubs looking for an experienced backup netminder, with workhorse netminder Miikka Kiprusoff having started all but one of 46 games this season.

General manager Darryl Sutter admitted the team has talked with Joseph's agent about the 40-year-old netminder, who played for Keenan in St. Louis more than a decade ago.

His agent, Don Meehan, was in meetings throughout yesterday and couldn't be reached for comment.

Joseph spent the last two NHL seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes and returned to action this winter by backstopping Canada's entry at the Spengler Cup.

Other teams reportedly interested in him are the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks.

Calgary's current back-up goalie is Curtis McElhinney, who has only 131 minutes of NHL game action under his belt.

Joseph, with 17 years of NHL experience, would certainly be the most decorated backup Kiprusoff has had in Calgary.

But Keenan doesn't believe his No. 1 netminder would feel any extra pressure.

"That's not an issue," Keenan said.

"It would take a little bit of the workload off him, and he'd probably embrace that."


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