There are many people — in and out of the Calgary Flames' locker-room — who simply cannot imagine life without No. 34.

"I don't see why you wouldn't want to have Kipper here," said defenceman Cory Sarich, referring to one of the hot topics surrounding the team following its third straight season without making the NHL playoffs. "I think he was one of the best goalies in the league this year. At times, his team wasn't the best in front of him. The guy is outstanding. I don't know how you replace a guy like that.

"If you were to see a change like that, there is going to be all sorts of talk on both sides of it."