Of the six restricted free agents the Calgary Flames have left to re-sign, three of them are headed to arbitration. The other three - Turner Elson, Micheal Ferland, and David Wolf - have no real timetables for their extensions, and so, we can afford to wait.
Except in Wolf's case, there may be no waiting at all, because he simply may not be coming back.
According to Hamburger-Abendblatt, Wolf may be returning to his former club, the Hamburg Freezers, in the DEL. While the 6'2, 216 lb. forward racks up penalty minutes wherever he goes, in Germany, at least, he seems to be a high scorer as well, and consistently near the top of his team.
That, combined with a few factors - he had a middling season in the AHL, the Flames now have an absolute glut of forwards that's going to make it extremely difficult to break into the NHL, and the fact that Germany is simply home for Wolf - lends support to the report. Why spend time riding buses in an unfamiliar country if you aren't going to be playing in the big league, when you can go back home and play there?
The fact that Wolf was qualified simply means he remained an RFA rather than becoming a UFA. Last year, the Flames qualified Chad Billins, even though he left for the KHL at about the same time. Wolf's qualifying offer, along with Elson and Ferland's, expired yesterday.
If this is it for the Wolf experiment, then it's no loss for the Flames. As stated earlier, they have an excess of NHL forwards - they'll need to get rid of at least two of them, and even that doesn't leave a single spot for a kid to force his way into the lineup at camp - and Wolf wasn't going to be among them.
It was a worthy gamble. A young, big player with potential scoring talent? Why not take a chance on that? Sometimes these chances don't work out, but nobody lost in this: Wolf got to play a few NHL games (and a playoff game, for some reason), and the Flames got to look at a potential prospect. If they're parting ways now, then that's that. It was still a pretty decent year for both parties.