Flames finally make it official: Curtis Joseph signed to a one-year deal

CALGARY – Curtis Joseph arrived in Calgary on Thursday and welcomed the chance to help a contender.

“It’s very exciting,” Joseph told reporters. “It’s always been fun to visit Calgary. It’s a hockey-crazy town. If you could win a Stanley Cup in Calgary, it would be very special.”

The 40-year-old goaltender agreed to terms on a US$1.5-million, one-year contract with the Flames on Monday, but the NHL club waited until Joseph passed a medical and for the league to approve the contract before making it official.

Since a little more than half of the season is already gone, he’ll earn about $650,000 for the rest of the year.

“I’m not really ready for the next chapter in my life,” said Joseph. “You might be a little older in hockey chapters, but if you are young for life and if you feel good within your body and mentally, why not try and help a team?”

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Joseph, who led Canada to a Spengler Cup title late last month, is one NHL victory shy of tying Terry Sawchuk for fourth all-time on the goalie career win list at 447. He went 18-31-2 with a 3.19 goals-against average and .893 save percentage with the Phoenix Coyotes last season.

He’s 446-341-95 in 913 NHL regular-season games with St. Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit and Phoenix.

The Flames need to give star No. 1 goalie Miikka Kiprusoff a breather once in a while in the second half of the season. He’s started in 47 of 48 games.

To make room for Joseph, the Flames sent rookie backup goalie Curtis McElhinney to the AHL’s Quad City Flames on Thursday. McElhinney was 0-2-0 in five games this season with a 2.00 GAA and a .902 save percentage.