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Friday, July 5, 2013
Flames sign goaltender Ramo, trade for Russell

Associated Press

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames signed Finnish goaltender Karri Ramo on Friday.

Ramo joins Miikka Kiprusoff, Reto Berra and Joey MacDonald as goalies under contract with the Flames.

Calgary awaits a decision from Kiprusoff on whether the 36-year-old veteran will retire or return to the NHL for the final year of his contract.

But the Flames were already ushering in the post-Kiprusoff era by signing Ramo to a two-year contract worth $5.5 million.

"If I were to call Miikka today and said `I have to know today', Kipper has told us he's had a great career and appreciates it and he's ready to move on," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said.

"What we've said to Miikka is `we're going to give you the time and we'll talk again as the summer goes on.' But we've been preparing for this."

Calgary also picked up defenseman Kris Russell from the St. Louis Blues, finalized contract terms with center Corban Knight and re-signed center Greg Nemiscz to a one-year extension worth $725,000.

In other moves, the Flames signed defenseman Chris Butler to a one-year extension and minor-league defenseman Chad Billins to a one-year contract.

Ramo spent the past four seasons with the KHL's Avangard Omsk, but has played 48 NHL games for the Tampa Bay Lightning. His record with Omsk this past season was 26-9-5 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

Kiprusoff has one year remaining on a front-loaded contract that pays him $1.5 million in 2013-14, but counts $5.8 million against the salary cap that will be $64.3 million in 2013-14.

Feaster acquired Berra's rights in a trade that sent Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues in February. He claimed MacDonald off waivers earlier that month and signed him to a one-year contract extension in April.

Berra has a one-year contract with Calgary. Finnish goalie Joni Ortio will also be at training camp. Calgary drafted him in the sixth round in 2009.