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Devils Trade Talks for Jacob Markstrom at a Standoff?

According to Chris Johnston, the Flames and Devils are seemingly at a standoff in trade discussions for goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

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The Florida Panthers are within reach of the Stanley Cup as they’ve taken a commanding 3-0 series lead in the final over the Edmonton Oilers. With the Stanley Cup Final nearly finished, NHL general managers might soon boil over with a flurry of transactions as we approach the offseason. The New Jersey Devils are still continually linked to Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom. However, it sounds like there hasn’t been any movement on a potential Devils trade, according to Chris Johnston.

Per The Athletic insider via the latest Chris Johnston Show podcast, Johnston explains although Markstrom’s name remains among those who could be traded, Devils trade, and general trade discussions are seemingly at a halt.

“[Markstrom’s] name is still pretty strongly circulated in the rumor mill, but it feels as though the trade talks are at a bit of a standstill in that Calgary’s obviously not just gonna trade him to trade him. That’s not a good way of doing business,” Johnston explained.

“I think New Jersey feels it’s at a point where it’s put its best foot forward in the discussions. The Devils certainly are a team that continue to have interest in trying to get Jacob Markstrom. I believe he still has interest in waiving his no movement clause to go play there if they can consummate that deal.”

By now, it feels like if the 10th overall selection was on the table for Markstrom, the Flames would have been obliged to accept that offer. However, that hasn’t happened yet, and Johnston doesn’t believe GM Tom Fitzgerald is willing to offer it for the 34-year-old netminder.

“I’m not certain the Devils would trade the No.10 pick for [Markstrom], but we’ll see,” said Johnston. “Like, there’s an element of bluffing in negotiations and drawing things out and trying to apply pressure on the other side. So I’m not gonna — in advance — criticize them for the return because I think we can definitely agree if the Flames just make an outright horrible trade, that doesn’t help them in any way either.”

The fact of the matter is that historically, goaltenders don’t typically yield much of a return on the trade market, especially ones with no-move/trade clauses. When the Devils acquired Jake Allen, they sent the Montreal Canadiens a conditional third round pick — and the Habs retained half of Allen’s salary. For Kaapo Kahkonen, they sent the San Jose Sharks Vitek Vanecek and a seventh round pick, again, showing goaltenders do not retrieve much on the trade market.

Perhaps, a similar trade comparable for a goaltender like Markstrom is when the Chicago Blackhawks traded Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild for a conditional second round selection, although Flower was a pending free agent.

The good news is it sounds like Fitzgerald has a price and he won’t cross it in a Devils trade for Markstrom. However, if one of the competing teams like the reported Ottawa Senators or Los Angeles Kings step up, he runs the risk of losing out on one of the starting goaltenders he’s been seeking.

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