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Division Rival Can Likely Outbid Devils Trade Offer for Linus Ullmark

In the Carolina Hurricanes, the New Jersey Devils’ division rival is their biggest threat to steal Linus Ullmark out from under them.

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Linus Ullmark tends the net in San Jose against the Sharks. // (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

General Manager Tom Fitzgerald has been quite open about an impending New Jersey Devils trade, whether it be for the 10th overall selection at the 2024 NHL Draft or for a goaltender.

Recently, we learned that Fitzgerald remains interested in two goaltenders he’s already attempted to pry from their respective teams before he went out and acquired Jake Allen and Kappo Kahkonen.

Those two goaltenders are Calgary Flames net minder Jacob Markstrom and Boston Bruins goaltender, Linus Ullmark.

The former appears more likely an acquisition than the latter, given the fact that Markstrom has already waived his no-move clause to go to New Jersey in a nixed deal before the 2o24 NHL Trade Deadline. However, Fitzgerald’s remaining interest in Ullmark — a former Vezina Trophy winner — cannot be ignored.

Yet, according to insider Elliotte Friedman on the latest Jeff Marek Show, a Devils trade for Ullmark sees its biggest obstacle in New Jersey’s division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes.

“Like, I look at Boston, and I’m saying, ‘What does Boston have that Carolina would want?’” Friedman questioned to Marek.

“Well, I mean, one of the obvious ones is Linus Ullmark who has one more year left of term. Maybe the contingency there is to waive the no trade to extend,” Marek stated.

“And they talked about Ullmark this year at the deadline, those two teams, yes,” Friedman said. “So that’s the one name that I wonder about there.”

The Hurricanes have already begun to make changes as former GM Don Waddell stepped down and has since been replaced by interim GM, Erik Tulsky. The belief is more changes in Carolina are coming, and an upgrade in the Hurricanes’ crease is a priority as Frederik Anderson regularly struggles to stay healthy. The Hurricanes have top forward Martin Necas who is reportedly a candidate to be traded out of Carolina and he could be involved in an Ullmark deal.

Necas’ potential involvement in an Ullmark deal puts a serious doubt on a Devils trade coming to fruition for the Swedish 30-year-old net minder. The closest equivalent to Necas in terms of value for the Devils would be Dawson Mercer, a player who Fitzgerald has already turned down offers on.

When it comes to Ullmark, the likes of the 10th overall pick, potentially Alexander Holtz, plus other pieces may not be as enticing to Boston if Necas is, in fact, in play for Carolina. Although he’s played wing for most of his recent tenure in Carolina, Necas could fill the center void Boston has since Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci both retired.

Necas — at the very least — projects as an intriguing line mate to David Pastrnak.

We knew the price for Ullmark was going to be high. The Bruins don’t have to trade him at the moment, but it probably is in their best interest in terms of value. Fitzgerald seemingly has a route to acquire Markstrom for less in a Devils trade that could allow them to move the 10th overall pick for a blue line upgrade.

Perhaps Ullmark doesn’t move at all, but if he does, it’s evident one of the Devils’ biggest threat to outbid them comes within the Metropolitan Division via the Hurricanes.

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