It’s an exciting time. We got two high character guys coming in, guys I feel that have been overlooked and underrated in my mind. - Jordan Sigalet
CALGARY, AB -- Wild wouldn’t begin to describe the start to the offseason for Jordan Sigalet.
But the Calgary Flames goaltending coach has settled in as the balance of the summer has taken shape.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster summer from a new coaching staff, all new goaltenders, a bunch of new goalies into the system,” Sigalet said.
“It’s an exciting time. We got two high character guys coming in, guys I feel that have been overlooked and underrated in my mind. They’re great on and off the ice. Looking forward to camp, it’s about building relationships with those guys.”
Those guys -- Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson -- comprise Calgary’s new goaltending duo.
Neither was with the club last season.
As such, the process has started for Sigalet.
“I’ve already gone to dinner in Calgary with Johnson to build that relationship,” said Sigalet, who also witnessed a change behind the bench with head coach Bob Hartley and associate coach Jacques Cloutier leaving, and Glen Gulutzan and assistants Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard joining the Flames.
“I’ve talked to Brian a lot on the phone. We’ll build those relationships, which is huge at the position. Once you build that trust and relationship that’s when you can start bouncing things off each other and help out as much as you can.”
Elliott and Johnson are the incumbents for Sigalet’s former pupils.
For the past two seasons, Sigalet has helped guide Calgary’s former crease dwellers in Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio.
The trio, along with late-season acquisition Niklas Backstrom, wasn’t retained after combining to collectively surrender an NHL-high 257 non-shootout goals and the worst team save percentage in 2015-16.
Elliott was acquired by the Flames on June 24 in a swap that sent a second round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a conditional third round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft to the St. Louis Blues for the established netminder.
He played 41 regular season games for St. Louis in 2015-16 and ranked in the NHL’s top-five in GAA (2.07) and save percentage (.930) with a record of 23-8-2. Over 323 career regular season games for three NHL clubs, Elliott has amassed a 165-99-32 record, a 2.40 GAA and a .914 SV%, and in 37 postseason games he has a 2.49 GAA and a .911 SV%.
Johnson was signed to a one-year contract on July 1.
The native of Calgary, AB, spent 2015-16 with the Buffalo Sabres where he had 22 wins in 45 games with a 2.36 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He has 101 games of NHL experience split between Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Boston, Phoenix, and the New York Rangers.
The pair provides a new challenge for Sigalet.
One he’s already started work on.
And one that has him excited.
“You get used to having the same couple guys here,” he said. “You get used to having them around. You know what their needs are … their strengths and weaknesses are…what makes those guys tick. You learn all those things and build relationships with each guy. You learn all those things.
“I’m learning now. I’m talking to others and sitting with the guys on a one-on-one basis to learn what makes them tick and what they need on a daily basis.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting. It’s two guys coming in that can give a lot.”