It’s Dustin Wolf’s net to lose in Calgary after Jacob Markstrom’s move to New Jersey

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
28 days ago
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Craig Conroy and the Calgary Flames said goodbye to Jacob Markstrom on Wednesday after sending him to the New Jersey Devils in a package for Kevin Bahl and a 2025 first-round pick with 31.25% of the Swedish netminder’s salary retained.
While the return was a bit of a shock to many around the NHL world and to plenty of Flames fans, especially considering all of the hype surrounding a potential Markstrom to New Jersey trade in the regular season, there is one important thing to come out of the entire saga: it’s Dustin Wolf’s net now.
At this point, few people don’t know what Wolf is capable of at the AHL level. He won the league awards for best goaltender and MVP in the 2022-23 season, and even though it’s hard to recreate a season like that, he performed extremely well again with the Wranglers last season. In 36 games during 2023-24, he posted a 2.45 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage, with a .924 save percentage in six games during the postseason.
Wolf also played a fair amount of games in the NHL this season with the Flames. While it didn’t start out nearly as well as he probably envisioned, he certainly turned things around and finished with a save percentage just below the .900 mark. He certainly made his impression with some of his saves, like the ones below and more.
For many, it was a surprise to see Wolf sent back down to the AHL, given the fact that there wasn’t much left for him to prove at that level with his previous accolades and performances. The details of his contract and its relation to waivers were a huge factor, but it felt like Wolf earned his chance at an extended stay with the best of the best. He managed that feat after some unfortunate injuries hit the Flames goaltending tandem, and now, it appears that management believes he is ready for a shot.
The Flames are going through a transitional period. No matter what they or anyone else wants to call it — a rebuild, a retool, or some other jargon — the team has plenty of holes, but it’s getting younger, which is a step in the right direction. And, even though Markstrom was a huge part of the organization and its success before the fall down the Pacific Division and Western Conference mountain, it was important that he be moved both for the team and his own sake. It would be a waste of the last few potentially great seasons of his career if he were to be in Calgary, and it also allows Wolf to have the best shot at securing a spot in the NHL tandem and maybe even winning the starter spot, too.
The return for a former Vezina-caliber goaltender may not be all Flames fans envisioned, but it showcases confidence that Wolf can jump full-time to the NHL roster.
Now, it’s up to the young gun to prove everyone right.

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