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Agent for goaltender Karri Ramo confirms his client signed two-year deal with Avangard Omsk



Mark Gandler, the agent for goaltender Karri Ramo has signed a two-year deal to play for Avangard Omsk of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. Gandler said Ramo, a restricted free agent who was to be the backup for Mike Smith, has been told he will be Omsk's No. 1.

"Of course," Gandler said. "He wouldn't go over there otherwise."

Gandler said Ramo's contract (he would not divulge the value) has an option that would allow Ramo to opt out after one season.

"I don't want to get into the reasons other than to say all of us, including Karri, feel he's better off stepping out for a year and play for Omsk. ... Tampa Bay wanted to sign him but we saw it otherwise."

Ramo, who will be 23 on July 1, was 4-10-7 in 24 games last season with a 3.66 goals-against average and an .894 save percentage. He played well in spurts, and drew praise from the coaching staff for quieting his game. But Ramo, a terrific athlete, was inconsistent and still would sometimes, through aggressiveness, would take himself out of position.

Ramo's move means Riku Helenius is next on the depth chart after Smith, which means the team must find a backup either through free agency or trade.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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