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The Calgary Flames have 16 waiver exempt players under contract for 2024-25

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Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
22 days ago
When we talk about roster and salary cap flexibility for National Hockey League clubs, one of the most important concepts is waivers. Simply put, if a player is exempt from waivers they can be sent up and down from the American Hockey League freely. If they’re eligible for waivers, they have to be offered to every other NHL team before they can be sent to the AHL.
While it can vary based on a few factors – typically the age when a player is first signed to an NHL deal – generally-speaking skaters are waiver exempt for the length of their entry-level deals, while goaltenders get an additional year. (PuckPedia has a good primer on the nuances.)
For the upcoming 2024-25 season, the Calgary Flames have 16 waiver exempt players currently under NHL contracts.
The waiver exempt crew includes:
  • Goaltender Dustin Wolf
  • Goaltender Waltteri Ignatjew
  • Defenceman Jeremie Poirier
  • Defenceman Hunter Brzustewicz
  • Defenceman Yan Kuznetsov
  • Defenceman Artem Grushnikov
  • Defenceman Joni Jurmo
  • Forward Matt Coronato, 2021 first-rounder
  • Forward Samuel Honzek, 2023 first-rounder
  • Forward Adam Klapka
  • Forward William Strömgren
  • Forward Sam Morton
  • Forward Lucas Ciona
  • Forward Parker Bell
  • Forward Rory Kerins
  • Forward Ilya Nikolaev
As mentioned, these players can be moved up to the NHL and down to the AHL freely, with only the salary cap and the NHL’s roster limit restricting their movement.
Key names that don’t require waivers for 2024-25 are Dustin Wolf, Matt Coronato and Adam Klapka. Wolf could be a full-time NHLer this season, depending on what happens with the established goaltenders. Similarly, Coronato and Klapka both had short stints in the NHL at the end of last season and looked strong at times, and they can be given looks this coming season without risk of losing them.
Four players that were previously exempt are becoming waiver eligible in 2024-25 for the first time: Connor Zary, Jakob Pelletier, Cole Schwindt and Ilya Solovyov. The reasoning for each player becoming waiver eligible is pretty simple: they’ve all played three seasons on an entry-level deal. Because of a quirk in the entry-level slide rule, Zary gets a fourth season on his entry-level contract and since he carved out a spot for himself on the Flames’ NHL roster, his changed waiver status probably won’t have any impacts on the club.
But the other three players will be restricted free agents on July 1, and so far none has carved out a niche as a no-doubt NHL player. As a result, Pelletier, Schwindt and Solovyov will each need to be placed on waivers to be sent to the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers. Considering how well each player has played at various points during their entry-level deals, there may be some teams that could consider a waiver claim if any of them hit the waiver wire – San Jose, we’re looking at you. As we head through the summer and into training camp in the fall, keep an eye on what happens with this trio of players.

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