David Wolf’s North American experiment has come to an end as he has decided to return to the Hamburg Freezers, according to the team’s announcement on Twitter.
The Calgary Flames signed the big forward to a one-year, $925,000 deal for the 2014-15 campaign after Wolf recorded 14 goals, 26 assists, and 152 penalty minutes in 48 games with the Hamburg Freezers of Germany’s top league.
Wolf’s tough play made it easy to link him with Flames president Brian Burke’s preferences and that belief only grows stronger with the knowledge that Wolf was invited to a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect camp when Burke was the general manager back in 2012.
The undrafted 25-year-old ended up spending most of 2014-15 with the AHL’s Adirondack Flames where he recorded 38 points and 168 penalty minutes in 59 AHL contests. However, he also participated in three regular season games with the Calgary Flames and logged 10:25 minutes in Game 2 of Calgary’s second round series against the Anaheim Ducks.
After establishing himself with the Nashville Predators, 23-year-old forward Calle Jarnkrok has earned a one-year, $735,000 contract extension, per the team’s website.
The Detroit Red Wings selected him with the 51st overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and he went on to excel with Brynas IF Gavle in Sweden, scoring 13 goals and 42 points in 53 contests in his final campaign with the squad back in 2012-13.
After a brief stint with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins that season, he prepared for his first full AHL campaign in 2013-14. He had 13 goals and 36 points in 57 contests with Grand Rapids, but that marked the end of his tenure within the Red Wings’ organization as he was part of the package to acquire David Legwand from Nashville.
Jarnkrok went on to record two goals and nine points in 12 contests with Nashville in 2013-14. He spent the full campaign with the Predators last season, but was limited to 12:50 minutes of ice time per game and finished with seven goals and 18 points in 74 contests.
Now that goaltender Devan Dubnyk has inked a six-year, $26 million contract with the Minnesota Wild, where does that leave Darcy Kuemper?
Kuemper had an opportunity to establish himself as Minnesota’s starter last season, but he barely played at all after the Wild acquired Dubnyk last season. Still, it sounds like there’s an opening for the workload to be far less one-sided in 2015-16.
“Well we’re still very excited about Darcy Kuemper,” Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said, per the Star Tribune. “He’s a young man, and two seasons ago he had a tremendous year. Last year he was certainly more erratic. He started well and had a tough stretch in the middle of the year.”
Kuemper is just 25 years old and has enjoyed some good stretches. Overall he has a 2.48 GAA and .910 save percentage in 63 career starts.
Meanwhile, Niklas Backstrom is set to begin the season as the team’s third-string goaltender as the 37-year-old plays out the final campaign of his three-year, $10.25 million deal. He played in just 40 games over the first two seasons of that contract.
Keeping three goalies on a team’s roster is typically not seen as ideal, but in Minnesota it’s fast becoming the norm.
“For a lot of the last two years, we’ve had to carry three goalies, and it looks like that’s how we’re going to have it to start this season as well,” Fletcher said.