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Devils Goaltending Target Reignites Trade Speculation

At the Calgary Flames end-of-season conferences, Jacob Markstrom’s responses about his future raises intense speculation.



New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald made one thing clear at his end-of-season conference.

He won’t leave any stones unturned.

One of those stones will be to shop for a goaltender that will work in tandem with Jake Allen who has one year remaining on his contract.

At the very top of Fitzgerald’s list will almost certainly be Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

The Flames goaltender already waived his no-move clause in a trade agreed upon by the Devils and Flames’ GM, however, was nixed for an undisclosed reason, although we all believe we know what it might be.

Regardless, at the Flames’ end-of-year conferences, Markstrom reignited the trade speculation fire that burned for the majority of the 2023-24 season, especially as the season inched closer to the NHL trade deadline.

When asked by attending Flames media where he believed he was going to be playing next season despite the two years remaining on his contract, Markstrom simply stated, “I don’t know.”

He continued, “What I do know and what I tell you guys every day is I love winning hockey games.”

Markstrom certainly tried to soften his clouded future.

However, when prompted if he spoke with Craig Conroy, the Flames’ GM, Markstrom was quite short.

“The season just ended, and I saw [Conroy], and I’ll leave it at that,” Markstrom said.

By now, everyone knows Markstrom agreed to be part of a deal that would have landed him in New Jersey. When it didn’t happen, it was well documented that the Swedish goaltender was upset with how Calgary fumbled the process. Markstrom didn’t retreat on his feelings when asked about it again on Friday.

“In my mind, I’m here now, so all the rambling could have been not happening,” Markstrom explained. “That’s what I would have appreciated, just me focusing on the team and playing as good as I can without any distractions, is what I was mostly pointing at.”

He was then asked if he was led to believe he was going to be a Devil.

“I don’t know, I just read what you guys are writing,” said the 34-year-old goaltender. “I’m not going to go into details here on stage with a bunch of cameras. What we talked about stayed with us and that’s how it’s going to stay. I’m not going to share a personal conversation I had with management.”

Markstrom was cordial in his responses about all the speculation this season. The same can be said about the questions he fielded about his future.

However, one thing’s for sure. There’s a tension that can be cut with a knife between the Flames and Markstrom. Even the Flames’ GM added to the speculation when asked about Markstrom’s future.

“Time will tell,” said Conroy.

Perhaps, that knife’s name is Tom Fitzgerald.

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