Dustin Wolf Back In The NHL Where He Belongs

The Calgary Flames have announced that they have recalled goaltender Dustin Wolf from the AHL Calgary Wranglers. This move is well-deserved, and in many eyes, Wolf should have begun the season with the Flames as he’s already been dominant at the AHL level and has nothing more to prove there after posting a 42-10-2 record with a 2.09 GAA, .932 SV%, and seven shutouts in 55 games last season with the Wranglers, while also going on to be named the Best Goaltender in the AHL and being named the AHL MVP during the 2022-23 season, while also leading the league in saves and shoutouts. One of the biggest arguments that can be made is that the Flames already had two goaltenders on their roster, but as we’ve seen this season, a few teams have resorted to carrying three goaltenders, which Calgary should have done from day one. One big thing to remember here is that Vladar was a seventh-round of the Flames back in 2019 and, since being drafted, has shown that he deserves to at least have a chance. Wolf is 5-1 this season with the Wrangels with a 5-1 record, with a 2.34 GAA, 9.24SV%, and one shoutout win.

With Dan Vladar and Jacob Markstrom already established in the league, Calgary wanted to get Wolf playing time, which is why he was sent down to the AHL, however, Markstrom has struggled out of the gate, posting a 2-6-1 record with a 2.91 GAA, and .896 SV%, Dan Vladar has struggled as well he has given up a least three goals in all three of his starts this season, going 2-1 with a 4.00 GAA, and .844 SV% which doesn’t cut it for an NHL caliber goaltending duo. Wolf is waiver-exempt, which ends up being a win-win situation for the Flames; if he struggles in the NHL, you can send him back down to the AHL without having to place him on waivers, and if he shows that he’s NHL-ready, Calgary has a golden opportunity to ship off Markstrom or Vladar for some valuable assets that could help them down the line.

The one big issue is that Markstrom is signed through the 2025-26 season at six million per year with a no-movement clause, and Vladar is signed at $2.2 million over the next two seasons, Wolf’s contract also comes to an end at the end of this year and one would think they’d wanna keep Wolf around.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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