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Report: Devils Trade Target Not Guaranteed to be Moved

According to a report, the Flames haven’t given up on the possibility of keeping Jacob Markstrom.

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Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) looks up at the video board after a goal by Minnesota Wild left wing Pat Maroon during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

In the roller coaster ride that has been the Jacob Markstrom saga, the New Jersey Devils have been continually linked to the Calgary Flames goaltender. The Devils have already connected with the Flames on a deal before it was nixed at the deadline. Although there’s a lot of speculation that Flames General Manager Craig Conroy could deal his No.1 goaltender — especially in a Devils trade — an updated look at the situation suggests the former Vezina Trophy nominee could stick around in Calgary.

On the latest Jeff Marek Show featuring Elliotte Friedman, the Sportsnet insider explained that although at one time the Flames might have traded Markstrom, they’re not in a hurry to do so now.

“I believe that he wants to play for a team that is in a winning situation,” Friedman said to Marek. “I believe Calgary has not given up on the possibility that could be them. That’s the one thing that I think should be mentioned here. I believe the Flames are prepared to trade Markstrom, but I also think they have made it very clear that they’re not going to do it for the sake of doing it. They’re going to do it to make a deal that they think makes them better.”

The Flames are looking to make a hockey trade. They believe that Dustin Wolf could take the reigns moving forward, however, keeping Markstrom in the fold in tandem with Wolf can give them a strong crease presence next season. If the Flames are going to trade the 34-year-old goaltender, it’s not going to come at a calculated cost.

“The other thing I was told by a couple of teams is, I was asking what [the Flames are] asking, and I was told it depends on who you are. This is not one size fits all [trade scenario]. If it’s team X, it’s this, team Y it’s that,” Friedman continued.

Word was that leading up to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline that Alexander Holtz was one of the players the Flames were interested in a potential Devils trade for Markstrom. It is unknown if the 22-year-old forward is still on their list of interested players.

And although we continually talk about a Devils trade for Markstrom, New Jersey isn’t the only team interested in acquiring his services. They might be the favorite, but other teams have their hat in the ring.

“I mentioned Toronto on the pod just because I think it makes a lot of sense, I think last year the whole Nikita Zadorov/Chris Tanev thing proves how difficult it will be for Calgary and Toronto to make a trade here,” Friedman concluded.” I think New Jersey, I think [Los Angeles], I mentioned Ottawa. I don’t know how Markstrom feels about that. I think it’s different per team, I think Calgary has made it very clear while they’re willing to do it, it’s something that has to make sense for them and they’re not going to just do it for the sake of doing it.”

If the Flames can convince Markstrom they’re a team he can win with, it sounds like it’s entirely possible Calgary would hang onto him. If so, then Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald will need to pivot and look elsewhere to finally acquire a No.1 goaltender. However, if Markstrom and Calgary’s relationship cannot be mended — after he was clearly upset with how the trade deadline was handled — a divorce may be inevitable, and the Devils remain frontrunners for his services.

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