Dan Vladar CGY

CALGARY -- Dan Vladar will have season-ending hip surgery next week, but Calgary Flames starting goalie Jacob Markstrom has been cleared for full practice and game participation after missing five games because of a lower-body injury.

"It's obviously unfortunate for 'Vladdy,'" Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar said Thursday. "I think he's been dealing with that (injury) for quite a while. He's a warrior about it. The one thing we do have here is depth at goaltender."

Vladar is 8-9-2 with a 3.62 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in 20 games (19 starts) this season. He last started in a 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on March 12.

With Vladar out, Dustin Wolf will remain on the Flames roster on an emergency recall basis. He has started the past two games.

"Obviously 'Wolfie' now, I think he's getting more and more comfortable being up here and he feels like he's part of the team," Weegar said. "I'm sure he wants to start to take over the net or get more games. 'Marky,' obviously, he's faced a few injuries with the same sort of thing. All three of them are such competitors. That's what I love most about them. It doesn't matter what goalie's in net. They're all a little different but all super solid for us and the reason we're still in the fight."

Calgary (33-30-5) trails the Vegas Golden Knights by 10 points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Flames would also have to pass the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.

"All we can do is just play every night and compete and try to win," said Markstrom, who is 22-17-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .910 save percentage in 41 games this season. "As long as there's a chance, there's a chance. Anything can happen. We have great leaders in this locker room. Everybody's got to pick up a shovel and start digging."

Wolf, who is 3-4-1 with a 3.25 GAA and .897 save percentage in 10 games (eight starts) this season, is considered the organization's top prospect.

"He's showing everyone that he can stop the puck, and is playing great hockey for years now," Markstrom said. "I know the transition (to the NHL) is... it's a different game and it takes time. For me, it took almost 10 years to figure everything out. You have to play games to get better and learn. I think he's been doing great when he comes in here and plays."

Wolf, who won the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Award as the American Hockey League's most outstanding goaltender in 2021-22 and 2022-23 and the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL's most valuable player in 2022-23, is hoping to use the extended stay as a learning experience under Markstrom.

"It's a good opportunity for myself to be in this locker room, be around these guys for the next month and hopefully more," the 22-year-old said. "[Markstrom is] a world-class goaltender for a reason. In my mind, probably top-five in the League. The way he handles himself off the ice is super important, and I think that's a big reason why he's played so long in the League, and I'm sure he'll play many more years. I'm super excited to be around him each and every day for the next month and kind of pick apart his game and see what works super well for him."

Markstrom is expected to start when Calgary plays at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, SN, CITY). It will be his first start since a 5-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on March 9.

"He has been (our MVP)," Weegar said. "He's been our backbone. He's a leader for us. It starts with him. I feel us as a D-core feel super confident when he's in the net. I'd assume it'd be the same for the forwards. Getting him back and still having that belief, I think that rubs off on everybody as well.

"That's kind of been our motto, especially with the leadership group, is making sure everybody knows there's still belief in this room and you're not out until you're out. It's great to have him back."