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Breaking: Flames about to sign top goalie prospect for post-Smith era

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The future might be coming sooner than expected to Calgary. 

The Flames are close to an agreement with KHL goalie prospect Artyom Zagidulin, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Zagidulin was the backup goalie to KHL legend Vasili Koshechkin this past season for Metallurg Magnitogorsk. In 25 games, the 23-year-old recorded a 1.96 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

The goaltending duo of Mike Smith and David Rittich in Calgary has managed to push the Flames into first place in the Western Conference this campaign. However, the 37-year-old Smith is on an expiring contract and set to become a free agent this summer. 

Smith has had some ups and downs in the recent years in Calgary and has been quite vocal when criticized by pundits and fans. 

There were rumors closer to the trade deadline last month that the Flames could be looking for an upgrade on the market, however, the Flames remain exceptionally quiet during the transaction period. The Flames had reportedly kick the tires on Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, however, nothing was done and the trade deadline came and went. 

The Flames' second-round pick in 2016, Tyler Parsons, has been considered the team's top goalie prospect, however, he has shown signs of struggles and uncertainty in the AHL as of late. He has posted this season a 3.83 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage.

Zagidulin could be a better candidate in between the pipes for the Flames.