The Calgary Flames announced Monday that their hopeful goaltender, Artyom Zagidulin, would be loaned to metallurgist Magnitogorsk of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). The deal will last until the start of the 2020-21 NHL season, and the opportunity should keep him cool for next season, where he will look to grab attention in training camp before he likely ends up. at the Flames farm. team, the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Zagidulin is no stranger to his temporary squad, having already played four seasons with Magnitogorsk before his return this season. His career certainly needs a resurrection, as his goals against average (GAA) skyrocketed in his first season in the AHL. He went from a GAA of 1.96 with Magnitogorsk in 2018-19 to a GAA of 3.07 with the Heat a year later.
The undrafted goalie has a big season ahead of him – he’ll be looking to prove to the Flames, the team that brought him from Russia to North America, that he’s earned his livelihood.
Despite a frustrating introductory season in the AHL, the Flames haven’t given up on Zagidulin this offseason. Instead, after posting a 16-7-6 record and a save percentage (SV%) of 0.898, the Flames offered him a one-year two-pronged contract with a minimum league value of $ 700,000. Despite not yet playing for an NHL game, his new signing in June shows Brad Treliving has confidence in the 25-year-old and that Treliving believes in building the future of his territory. from zero. .
No, his numbers weren’t impressive last season. However, returning not only to his birthplace, but also to a team with which he knows the organization well, will be imperative for his career development at the professional level. It’s clear that his first taste for hockey in North America was a wake-up call, but sending him on loan to the KHL should help him get his game back.
Zagidulin’s figures in 2018-19 with Magnitogorsk certainly looked promising. He got a record of 12-7-7 and broke an impressive 0.924 SV%, with a GAA of 1.96. A return home for the moment, mixed with the leadership of a mentor named Louis Domingue in the AHL should allow Zagidulin’s career to resume its course.
When the Flames hired Domingue, the 28-year-old goaltender, many wondered why the team needed another goalie. Some fans thought maybe Treliving was playing with the idea of a Markstrom and Domingo tandem, which, of course, wouldn’t be too foreign.
Instead, it looks like the Flames will suit Markstrom and Rittich, while Domingue and Zagidulin hold the fort in Stockton. It’s, for me, the perfect storm for goalkeepers, and Flames fans should be overwhelmed by their newfound confidence in the territory. Domingo coming to Calgary as a support system will complement Zagidulin immensely.
Domingue is 58-58-10, 0.902 SV% and 384 goals against in his 123 NHL games. That’s not a bad resume for a goaltender who was drafted 138 overall in the 2010 draft. Judging by the moves around the crease, the plan for the goalies looks very concrete in Calgary.
What to expect from Zagidulin
Zagidulin must find his game where it all began. In the two matches played this season with Magnitogorsk, he did not turn any head. It looks rough at 5.55 GAA, and its 0.839 SV% certainly won’t impress anyone, but that stint is Russia is destined to get rid of the rust.
The hope for Zagidulin and the Flames is that he will come out of the KHL ready to split the fold and steal games for Stockton in the AHL. He’s unlikely to see any playing time for the Flames anytime soon, as he’s technically the fourth to the throne, but this opportunity in his home country will provide the tools to potentially impress management during camp. coaching.
My work as a writer is a dream come true. I wake up everyday and remember this is the kind of job I wanted from a young age. In order for me to continue to make this dream come true, I need you, the reader, to let me know how I am. Please feel free to subscribe to The Hockey Writers and leave a comment on all things Calgary Flames. Thank you!