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Leafs had ‘deal in place’ for Kiprusoff: Nonis

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, from Finland, dives on the puck during second period NHL hockey action against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Calgary, Alta., on Friday, March 29, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Toronto Maple Leafs had deal in place to acquire goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff from the Calgary Flames.

“We tried pretty hard to get Miikka (Kiprusoff) to come. That was as close as we were the whole time,” Leafs general manager Dave Nonis told Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson. “We had a deal in place that we felt made sense for us.”

Kiprusoff, who decided to stay in Calgary, has one year remaining on his contract where he will make just $1.5 million but carries a salary cap hit of $5.33 million.

“We tried to put together a deal that made sense for him and ultimately he felt that he wanted to stay in Calgary and finish the year and then choose his path after that,” Nonis added.

The 36-year-old netminder was very open with the Leafs during direct discussions between him and the club.

“He was very open when we had discussions about his desire to possibly stay in Calgary,” said Nonis.

The deal was close until hours before the deadline when Kiprusoff made his decision to stay with the Flames.

“He didnt shut the door on Toronto at any time until late (Wednesday) morning when he felt that if he wasn’t going to give us 100 per cent that it wasn’t in his best interest or in the best interest of our team.”