Flames extend qualifying offers to seven restricted free agents, including Wolf, Pelletier

Dustin Wolf and Jakob Pelletier headline the restricted free agents the Flames sent qualifying offers

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The Calgary Flames are parting ways with Dillon Dube.

The 25-year-old forward will become an unrestricted free agent after the Flames declined to extend a qualifying offer to him before Sunday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Dube was drafted in the second round, 56th overall by the Flames in 2016 but left the team in February and is one of five players facing sexual assault charges in London, Ont. in connection with an incident that occurred while celebrating Canada’s win at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.

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According to Athletic and TSN Insider Chris Johnston, the NHL and NHLPA had discussions about “changing how the status of those players was treated while the legal process played out” but decided against it.

The Flames did extend qualifying offers to the following seven players:

Dustin Wolf

As important a player to the Flames’ future as they’ve currently got in the organization, Wolf is widely considered their starting goalie of the future. He’s a two-time AHL goalie of the year and a league MVP, too. Last year, he played in 17 games for the Flames, winning seven with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .893 save percentage. He showed substantial improvement as the season went on, especially after Dan Vladar had surgery and Wolf spent the final month of the year splitting time with Jacob Markstrom. Now, with Markstrom traded to the New Jersey Devils, Wolf is set for a substantial increase in workload and will split the net with Vladar in 2024-25.

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Jakob Pelletier

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Shoulder surgery disrupted Pelletier’s 2023-24 season, but anyone writing him off should remember that he turned a lot of heads the previous year when he played in 24 games and picked up three goals and four assists. Those offensive numbers don’t blow you away, but Pelletier was selected 26th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft for a reason and it’s easy to imagine him slotting into the third line next to Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman next season now that Andrew Mangiapane has been shipped out of town in a trade with the Washington Capitals. Expectations remain high for Pelletier, and his time to prove he belongs full-time in the NHL is now.

Jakob Pelletier Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames Jakob Pelletier against Detroit Red Wings at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday, February 16, 2023. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia file

RW Adam Klapka

Klapka is one of the great curiosities in the Flames system.  The undrafted Czech winger is 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 235 lbs. He’s huge, in other words, and despite being a late bloomer he emerged as a legitimate offensive weapon in the AHL this past season, scoring 21 goals and adding 25 assists in 65 games. He made six NHL appearances, too, scoring in the final game of the season and showing he’s more than willing to get physical when needed.

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Adam Klapka
Calgary Flames forward Adam Klapka hits the neutral zone against the San Jose Sharks at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, April 18, 2024. Photo by Brent Calver /Postmedia

Ilya Solovoyov

Drafted in the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Belarusian made his first appearances with the Flames when he played in 10 games and picked up three assists. More of a defensive defenceman than somebody you’re expecting to see on the power-play, Solovyov was a big part of the Wranglers blueline this past season and at 23 years old, it does seem like he’s knocking on the door of more NHL opportunities.

Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks
Calgary Flames defenceman Ilya Solovyov attempts to slip a shot in against San Jose Sharks goaltender Georgi Romanov at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, April 18, 2024. Photo by Brent Calver /Postmedia

Cole Schwindt

Acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers, Schwindt has been intent on proving he isn’t just the “other guy” in the trade that brought Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to Calgary. He played four games with the Flames this year and emerged as an important member of the Wranglers. As a centre, there could be an opportunity for Schwindt to earn a lot more playing time with the Flames next year and at only 23 years old, the best is presumably yet to come.

Cole Schwindt
Calgary Flames forward Cole Schwindt during warm-up before taking on the St. Louis Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

Yan Kuznetsov

Drafted in the second round in 2020, it’s sort of hard to believe Kuznetsov is still only 22 years old. He made his NHL debut in January with the Flames in a game against the Ottawa Senators and at 6-foot-5, 220 lbs. the Russian has definitely got the physical tools to get more ice time at the top level.

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Yan Kuznetsov
Yan Kuznetsov #37 of the Calgary Flames skates during a break in play against the Ottawa Senators in the first period at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 9, 2024 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Leah Hennel/Getty Images

Nikita Okhotiuk

Okhotiuk was acquired in a deadline-day deal with the San Jose Sharks in March and has already signed a deal with CSKA Moscow, of the KHL. By extending him a qualifying offer, the Flames retain the 23-year-old defenceman’s rights should he ever decide to return to the NHL.

Nikita Okhotiuk
Montreal Canadiens’ Joel Armia, left, takes a hit from Calgary Flames’ Nikita Okhotiuk during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 16, 2024. Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press

In addition to Dube, the Flames did not extend a qualifying off to:

Riley Damiani

Damiani played seven games with the Dallas Stars in 2021-22 but hasn’t made an NHL appearance since. He was acquired by the Flames in an under-the-radar move that sent Emilio Pettersen to Dallas in March and the 24-year-old scored one goal in 14 games for the Wranglers.

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