It’s been well reported that New Jersey Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald was going to remain aggressive to upgrade his team ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. On Saturday, we learned that the Devils and Calgary Flames were engaged in a serious trade discussion for goaltender Jacob Markstrom. However, the deal fell through and Markstrom remains with Calgary. According to a report, the Swedish goaltender was willing to join New Jersey before the trade was halted.
Daily Faceoff insider, Frank Seravalli, reports that the Flames did, in fact, ask Markstrom if he would be willing to waive his no-move clause for an intended deal.
“I think the Devils and Flames were pretty far down the track on a Markstrom deal,” Servalli explained on Daily Faceoff’s Morning Cuppa Hockey. “I think it did get to his level to approve it, there were no issues there. Somehow along the way, that trade was scuttled. Don’t know how & don’t know why. But, they were pretty close to nailing it down. You would have seen Jacob Markstrom become a New Jersey Devil, I think at some point last week.”
That checks out. Yesterday, Elliotte Friedman reported that although the deal died, the Devils and Flames were in agreement on a package that worked for both teams. The Devils were reportedly ready to at least make Swedish sniper Alexander Holtz as part of the transaction.
However, Friedman also reported that he believed the issue between the two teams was Calgary retaining salary on Markstrom’s $6 million cap hit. Now, Seravalli believes the Devils will need to look elsewhere for help in goal.
“Can this be revisited,” Seravalli contemplated. “My answer is probably not based on the way it played out. And two, now what? Is there another team that would be willing to step up and pay what would be a pretty significant price in order for Calgary to reshape their goaltending scenario?”
The Devils have played well recently in front of their goaltenders. As a result, the points have followed. Yet, the short sample of strong play on the blue line and in the crease likely won’t deter Fitzgerald’s lust for an upgrade in goal.
It sounds like the Devils will have to figure out a Plan B. Although, the two sides were really close. Perhaps, it’s not as dead as we think.