Hrudey: Reimer’s health keeps him from being a starter

The Calgary Flames may be out of playoff contention, but don't tell Sean Monahan or Joe Colborne, who are brimming with confidence and playing some of their best ever hockey.

James Reimer’s health would concern Kelly Hrudey if he was looking to add the impending free agent in the off-season.

Appearing on The Andrew Walker Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Monday, Hrudey was asked if he thought Reimer would be a good fit for the Flames when he hits the market on July 1.

Hrudey likes Reimer as a person but is concerned by how frequently the San Jose Sharks goaltender gets injured.

“My problem with him is he doesn’t play for long enough stretches and remain healthy. It seems to me that even when he gets on a roll, he gets banged up in practice or something happens to him and he has to take some time off,” Hrudey said.

“The guys you can count on are the guys like Jonathan Quick or [Corey] Crawford. They can play a boatload of games, and that to me is the difference between them and Reimer.”

Hrudey said if the Flames want to improve in net, they should look at what they already have, specifically Karri Ramo. Ramo was injured in a game against the Sharks on Feb. 12 and has been shut down for the season. Hrudey said that once Ramo recovered from a slow start to the season, he was playing well enough to be a No. 1.

“I’m not going to tell you he’s a top 10, but he had clearly elevated his game for about two and a half months,” Hrudey said. “That was the best I’d ever seen him play, and he truly convinced me that he was a guy that you could bring back and that wasn’t going to be a weakness.”

The Flames, like every other Canadian team, will likely miss the playoffs this season.

Walker pointed out controversies that have surrounded the Flames, from the Dennis Wideman suspension to some players being scratched after a Super Bowl party, as reasons the season has gone poorly. While Hrudey agreed that these problems have been factors, he says he knew even at training camp that something wasn’t right with this team.

“They weren’t nearly as tenacious as they were last year, and I think more importantly they were trying to recapture what they had last year,” Hrudey said. “Every year we all know has a new flavour. It’s a different thing that you have to go out and earn. You can’t ever recapture — it’s a formula for failure.”

While the Flames’ season has been one to forget, Hrudey made a pitch for Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie to be included in Canada’s entry for the World Cup this fall: “That’s as good a pairing as there is in the National Hockey League.”

Asked if he would pick those two over P.K. Subban, Brent Burns and Brent Seabrook, Hrudey said he had “no hesitation in that,” adding they make each other better as a pair.

“I love those other guys and they are good players, but I just think this pairing is unique,” he said. “They are game changers.”

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