Kipper could be tending for Finland

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

If all goes to plan, Miikka Kiprusoff will go for gold in Vancouver.

Kiprusoff, who begged off the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, said he would like to play for Finland in the 2010 Games in February.

"If I'm healthy -- and if they want me there -- I think I will be there," Kiprusoff said.

The Calgary Flames netminder should arrive in Vancouver a lot less fatigued than he would have last year.

For starters, he's expecting new coach Brent Sutter won't have him play in 76 games like last season.

"I think they're planning to give me a little more rest, but you never know," Kiprusoff said. "When the season starts, we'll know better."

Plus, Sutter has vowed the Flames will be a better defensive club, which would mean a lighter load on the netminder.

"The goalie is a big part of that, too," Kiprusoff said. "To be better defensively, I have to work better with the defence. It's good. We're gonna have a good system this year."

MEET THE NEW BOSS

On the ice, Brent Sutter isn't one to mince words.

The new Flames head coach has no qualms about letting his players know when they did a drill improperly or aren't in the right position when working on defensive zone coverage. This isn't new to everyone. Dion Phaneuf played for Sutter with the WHL's Red Deer Rebels.

"He's an up-tempo, structured coach that runs a quick practice but very high-tempo," Phaneuf said. "That's what we got today, and it's a good first day for everybody."

ICE CHIPS

LW Rene Bourque and RW Brian McGrattan are starting training camp wearing yellow caution jerseys.

McGrattan had off-season shoulder surgery, and Bourque had an ankle operation.

C John Armstrong (shoulder) didn't skate yesterday.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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