After winning their first-ever national title in program history, Providence Friars goalie Jon Gillies deserves a great deal of credit, as he was sensational during the Frozen Four.
Gillies, who stopped 49 shots during the team’s championship game win over the Boston Terriers — highlighted by an awe-inspiring save during the final moments of the contest–has decided to remain at Providence for his junior year.
“It was a couple day process,” Gillies stated to Yahoo! Sports, “but at the end of the day, the reason you come back to college hockey is to be a part of something like this and have a chance to compete for a national championship.”
Drafted 75th overall by Calgary in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Gillies might have warranted himself an opportunity at the NHL level with his performance. While the Flames aren’t in desperate need at the position currently, the chance to get Gillies acclimated to the professional ranks has arrived.
Currently, Calgary features two solid, but not great, goalies on its roster in Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller. The latter is going into the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the team during the offseason.
Meanwhile, Ramo is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and if brought back will likely compete for the backup goalie job with Joni Ortio.
If Gillies decides to forgo his senior year at Providence he will be able to sign an entry level deal with Calgary. The plan would then be to have him hone his craft at the AHL level, getting him accustomed to professional hockey.
Calgary will give every goalie on their roster a chance to lead the them into the future. However, Hiller is 33, Ramo has been fairly inconsistent and Ortio doesn’t have the pedigree of Gillies, so the job is there for the taking.
The best option for the Flames is to give Gillies the opportunity to become the team’s goalie for the next 10-12 years. He already has a national title to his name, all that’s left is a Stanley Cup.