Rival teams link Jacob Markstrom to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports  

Rival teams link Jacob Markstrom to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Will the Calgary Flames actually go through with trading their star goaltender to a Canadian rival?

Jonathan Larivee

There are rumblings of what would surely be a blockbuster trade between a pair of Canadian rivals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made it clear that they will be moving on from netminder Ilya Samsonov after he lost the net to backup netminder Joseph Woll during the course of what was a rather forgettable regular season from Samsonov who finished with a 3.13 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. The big question for the Maple Leafs this summer as it pertains to their goaltending is whether or not they will be able to find a more reliable presence in net to compliment the aforementioned Woll.

It would seem that the Maple Leafs are setting their goals quite high with National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman reporting on Sunday that the Maple Leafs have set their sights on Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

"A couple of other teams I wonder about... Toronto," admitted Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast. "I know deals with Toronto and Calgary are kind of complicated but the GM in Toronto is the guy who signed Markstrom in Calgary and just on paper a Markstrom/Woll combination is a pretty good combination.

"I look at that and I say I could see why a team like Toronto would be interested in that potentially."

It is true that current Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving has ties to Markstrom himself, but even more attractive to the Maple Leafs is likely the current state of Markstrom's contract. Markstrom is currently in the final 2 years of a 6 year deal that carries an average annual value and cap hit of $6 million per season.

The salary cap ceiling is an ever present challenge for an organization like the Maple Leafs and getting a quality goaltender at a reasonable number for the next two years would be an incredibly valuable asset in its own right.

That will be true for most teams in the National Hockey League however and it sounds like there will be some stiff competition for Markstrom's services in very short order as we rapidly approach the NHL draft. That being said, it appears as though rival teams believe Markstrom could land in Toronto.

"Obviously a lot of people are suspecting New Jersey," said Friedman. "And there's a few teams that suspect Toronto and Ottawa would be around that, plus Toronto kick's tires on everybody so it makes sense but some teams wonder if it ends up being a bit more than that."

Markstrom to Toronto would be a blockbuster trade and as Friedman points out it would solidify the Maple Leafs goaltending tandem, but you have to wonder what Brad Treliving and the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to give up to make this deal a reality.