Jacob Markstrom pushed the Flames to trade him

Jacob Markstrom pushed the Flames to trade him

See what he did prior to Wednesday’s transaction:

Chris Gosselin

On Wednesday, the Calgary Flames shipped their goalie Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils, in return for defenseman Kevin Bahl and a top 10 protected 2025 first-round pick, while the Canadian team also retained more than 30 percent on Markstrom’s $6 million cap hit.

It had been reported that the Flames and Devils had been in contact for months regarding the deal, but it was finally the goalie himself who pushed Calgary to pull the trigger, according to insider Elliotte Friedman. On the Jeff Marek Show, Friedman stated on Thursday:

“What had been kept pretty quiet up until yesterday was that Markstrom had allowed the Flames to expand the search a bit, and I think there were a few teams in on it, I think Toronto was one, I think Ottawa was one…I had heard his preference was to go East.”

Not only did Markstrom waive his no-movement clause to join the Devils organization, he also played a part in finding the best landing spot to continue his career. He will now get to pair up with veteran netminder Jake Allen in a strong goaltending tandem.

Many insiders do state that the Toronto Maple Leafs were also in the mix, only reinforcing the belief that the club desperately meets an upgrade in between the pipes. However, general manager Brad Treliving now needs to look elsewhere than his former team in Calgary. Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins appears to be the top option remaining in goal on the trade market, with the Ottawa Senators reportedly making an agressive push for the goaltender.

As for Markstrom heading to New Jersey, the move is stunning for the Devils, who did not have to spend much to land the goalie. Last season, he put up a 23-23-2 record with a .905 save percentage and a 2.78 goals-against average. He posted a career-best .922 save percentage in 2021-22 before experiencing an unforeseen dip with a .892 mark in 2022-23.

This is a new start for Markstrom, who clearly did what he could to get out of Calgary and begin a new chapter in his NHL career.