The team still could not confirm the signing of Finnish goalie Iiro Tarkki as of this morning, but Tarkki’s agent appears to have confirmed it to a Finnish publication (thanks to Google translate).
Update (3 p.m.): The team has confirmed the signing. From the official release:
The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed goaltender Iiro Tarkki to a one-year entry-level contract.
Tarkki, 25 (7/1/1985), spent the last two seasons with the Espoo Blues of the Finnish Elite League. He appeared in 55 games with the Blues in 2010-11, posting a 2.09 goals-against average (GAA), .924 save percentage (SV%) and five shutouts. Tarkki tied for the league lead in appearances during the regular season, ranked seventh in GAA and eighth in SV%. He helped lead the Blues to the Finish Elite League Playoff finals in 2011, compiling a 2.19 GAA, .924 SV% and three shutouts. Among postseason leaders, Tarkki finished first in appearances and fifth in GAA and SV%.
A native of Rauma, Finland, Tarkki appeared in 54 games for Espoo in 2009-10, going 22-22-9 with a 2.44 GAA and .919 SV%. He also appeared in three playoff games for the Blues in 2010, posting a 1-2 record with a 1.91 GAA and .936 SV%. Tarkki played three seasons with SaiPa Lappeenranta from 2006-09. In 90 appearances with SaiPa, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound goaltender posted a 25-47-14 record with a 2.65 GAA.
Since it’s a two-way contract, Tarkki can slide into the Ducks’ plans at either the NHL or AHL levels.
The Syracuse Crunch finished 23rd in the 30-team AHL in goals-against average last season. Goalies Jean-Phillippe Levasseur (3.01) and Timo Pielmeier (3.09) had less than stellar individual goals-against averages, but the team save percentage (.912) suggests that it wasn’t all their fault. Still, it’s worth noting that Ray Emery posted a 1.98 GAA and .943 save percentage behind the same defense, suggesting there’s room for improvement with more talent in net.
Levasseur’s one-year, two-way contract expires July 1. Pielmeier still has a year left on his entry-level deal. Igor Bobkov, 20, is poised to turn pro next season and Tarkki figures to fit somewhere in that mix with both Jonas Hiller and Dan Ellis under contract for next season.
Of course, then there’s Emery, the playoff starter who earned a new NHL contract with his play down the stretch. Will it be in Anaheim?
The answer still probably depends on Hiller’s ability to recover from his vertigo symptoms; Tarkki just gives the Ducks another, better insurance policy in-house.