Could the Flames Go Against the Norm Next Season

Published August 17, 2023 at 10:19

The Calgary Flames hugely disappointed during the 2022-2023 season. The team didn't score enough goals but maybe the bigger issue was the goaltending. No NHL team had a more negative goaltending swing as large as Calgary's in 2022-23. In the span of a year, the Flames went from boasting Vezina Trophy runner-up Jacob Markstrom and a fifth-ranked .913 team save percentage to the bottom third of the league at .889.

Is is imperative for the goaltending to improve if the Flames want any hope of getting back into the playoffs. Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar's combined cap hit is $8.2 million, and they were only able to muster 37 wins last season between them. Both goalies finished with below a .900 save percentage, to further illustrate their struggles last season.

The Flames have one of the best goalie prospects waiting in the AHL in Dustin Wolf. The 22 year old is the two-time reigning American League Goaltender of the Year. The 2019 seventh-round pick has posted a .928 save percentage in his first two AHL seasons. Wolf had seven shutouts and a .932 this past season, becoming the first goalie to be named AHL MVP in almost two decades.

Pat Steinberg was on Sportsnet 960 and said there is "a real" possibility that the Flames start the season with three goalies.

Wolf has earned his chance in the NHL with his play. In a cap world it is tough to manage carrying three goalies on the roster but Wolf has a small cap hit of $813,333 this season before becoming an RFA at seasons' end.

Markstrom and Vladar will have a short leash next season and if they continue to falter, the youngster Wolf will eagerly step in. With the way Wolf has performed it wouldn't surprise me to see him take over the starters net sometime during the 2023-2024 season.
August 17   |   113 answers
Could the Flames Go Against the Norm Next Season

Which goalie will have the most wins next season for the Calgary Flames?

Jacob Markstrom6860.2 %
Dan Vladar87.1 %
Dustin Wolf3732.7 %
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