September 25, 2017

Legends of Team Canada: Rick Kosti

The 1988 Canadian Olympic team featured NHL veteran/contract holdout Andy Moog and up and coming superstar Sean Burke. It was not much of an exaggeration to suggest no team in the world - including any NHL team - had a better tandem of goaltenders.

But Canada had to carry a third goalie just in case the unthinkable happened and one of the two star puckstoppers got hurt. The third goalie in 1988 was Rick Kosti.

Rick Kosti never got to play in any Olympic action, as Moog and Burke split the duties. He did play in 47 games with the National Team over two seasons, looking strong against the Soviets on a couple of occasions.

If you've never heard of Rick Kosti, you are not alone. The Kincaid, Saskatchewan native was an undrafted goalie out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth when five or six NHL teams tried signing him upon graduation in 1985.

Kosti chose the Calgary Flames because they were close to home and because there was a possibility of jumping to the NHL right away. When he signed Reggie Lemelin was the only big leaguer on the roster. Kosti was told he could be the back up if he outplayed Mike Vernon and Mark D'Amour in training camp.

The Flames settled on Vernon, of course, as he became arguably the best goalie in Flames history. Kosti struggled terribly in his first pro season in the minors, bouncing between the AHL Moncton and IHL Salt Lake.

After that season he committed to the national team. He and Burke likely could have made a strong tandem but he had the misfortune of NHL veteran Andy Moog joining the team during his season long holdout from the Edmonton Oilers in search of a trade.

Rick Kosti retired from hockey after the Olympics. He never played in a NHL game, though he was once called up as the emergency back up to Doug Dadswell as Vernon suffered an injury in the previous game.

Kosti pursued his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Calgary. He settled in Houston, Texas and became a corporate recruiter.

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