With the season right around the corner, it seemed that the goaltending situation throughout the Calgary Flames system was pretty much settled. That is until the evening of September 8th when the AHL’s Stockton Heat announced they had signed the Calgary’s 2020 fourth round-pick, goaltender Daniil Chechelev, to an AHL contract. The 20-year-old is coming to North America from his home country Russia and for the first time. With the signing of Chechelev, Stockton now has six goaltenders on contract. This move holds big implications for the entire Flames system, including for the Kansas City Mavericks.
It is not likely that Stockton carries six goaltenders on their roster, so Kansas City is bound to see some Stockton or Calgary backstops assigned to them. It’s already been reported that Matt Greenfield and Andrew Shortridge are expected to be assigned to Kansas City, but that still leaves four goalies in Stockton. Between Tyler Parsons, Adam Werner, Daniil Chechelev and Dustin Wolf, there is a log jam that the Heat have to sort out. What will the Flames do about this predicament? There are several options, but none of them are ideal.
The wild card, or odd man out, depending on how you look at the situation, is Dustin Wolf. Wolf is in the first year of his entry-level contract with the Flames and he is the highest touted goaltending prospect in the entire system. Some would argue he has more than earned his chance to play in the AHL after posting a .940 save percentage and a 1.80 goals against average in his final season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Not to mention his shutout victory at the 2020 IIHF World Juniors. But Wolf is still just a rookie having only played three games for Stockton last season. Rather than staying on a crowded team with three other goalies, it may be in Wolf’s best interest if the Flames assign him to another AHL club, so he can continue his development and get some playing time.
At one point in time, it could have been a viable option to send Wolf to Kansas City. The Mavericks have a new goaltending coach, and by all accounts, the relationship between Kansas City and Calgary is the best it’s ever been. But with the signings of Greenfield and Shortridge by Stockton, and the signing of Angus Redmond by the Mavericks, sending Wolf to the ECHL now seems like an unlikely option. It would be shocking if the Flames make their number one goaltending prospect fight for appearances with three older and more experienced goaltenders.
Another piece that could be in movement is Tyler Parsons. Once the most promising goaltending prospect in the Flames organization, Parsons has struggled with injuries, as well as his mental health. He has performed quite well in his appearances with Kansas City, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy enough to stick around in Stockton for extended periods of time. When Calgary extended a qualifying offer to Parsons this year, it was widely seen as a “show us” move by the Flames. If Parsons doesn’t perform well in Stockton this season, he could find himself on the outside looking in. Whether that means he returns to Kansas City, or takes his services elsewhere is yet to be seen.
To add yet another goaltender to the mix, Kansas City also announced that they had signed Evan Moyse to a professional tryout contract. After mainly playing as a backup at Ohio State University, Moyse played in seven SPHL games in 2020-21. Given the sheer number of goaltenders in Calgary’s system, and the fact that he is only signed to a PTO, it is likely that Moyse is just a camp invitation and likely won’t make the final roster. However, nothing is ever set in stone until camp concludes. If he is able to impress, it is possible he could be the eighth goaltender in the mix in the Flames organzation. One thing will be sure this season. There will be highly performing, solid goaltending at every level of the franchise.
With these situations taken into account, it is likely that Calgary’s organizational goalie chart appears as follows for 2021-22:
Calgary: Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar
Stockton: Daniil Chechelev, Adam Werner, Tyler Parsons
Kansas City: Angus Redmond, Andrew Shortridge, Matt Greenfield
Extra/ Other Organization: Dustin Wolf