Calgary Flames avoid arbitration, sign David Rittich to two-year deal

Photo by Terence Leung/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Terence Leung/NHLI via Getty Images /

The Calgary Flames have filled out their goaltending tandem after signing RFA goaltender David Rittich to a two-year deal, avoiding arbitration with him.

The Calgary Flames have avoided arbitration, and have re-signed goalie David Rittich to a two-year deal, worth $2.75 million a season. This signing comes just two days before Rittich and the Flames were scheduled to have an arbitration meeting, so Flames fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

Rittich played 45 games last season for the Flames, where he managed an impressive record of 27-9-5. He also had a .911 save percentage. Very impressive numbers for a guy who was heavily relied on for a lot of the season, while veteran goalie Mike Smith was trying to find his game.

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Of course, Smith played a crucial part in developing Rittich’s game. The two goalies formed a great friendship during each other’s time in Calgary. But with Cam Talbot swapping places with Smith, a new friendship among the crease warriors will soon be formed.

It is unknown who will get the starting position next season, but Calgary’s “win and you’re in” mentality seemed to work great last season. Flames netminders shared the blue paint, and the team finished second overall in league standings.

Rittich’s contract certainly serves as a well-earned pay raise. He was making $800,000 last season, but general manager Brad Treliving once again made sure the money was just right for his organization and signed Rittich to a very low-risk deal.

Two years is enough time to really see if Rittich is the future of the Flames in terms of a number one goalie. He certainly proved last season that he can be relied on when times get tough. Rittich very quickly earned a nickname that has really stuck with the fans too. “Big Save Dave” is what they like to call him in Calgary.

All Flames fans alike just want to see Rittich and Talbot form a goaltending duo that can shut teams down. What the Flames coaching staff will really have to assess, is whether Talbot or Rittich will see the majority of games.

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It all comes down to those first few games early in the season. Both guys will have lots of time to show their skills, but Rittich knows what is expected of him. If he plays like he did last season, with confidence, and composure, “Big Save Dave” should have no problem giving his team a chance to win every night.