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Deal with the Devils


Courtesy of Sergi Belski- USA TODAY Sports


After rumors of a trade falling through just before the NHL trade deadline in March, goaltender Jacob Markström was on his way to New Jersey. Finishing the season in Calgary with the Flames, the question of Markström's future was still up in the air. Now we have our answer. 


On June 19, reports came out about an official trade between the Flames and the Devils involving Markström. Later in the day it was confirmed. The Calgary Flames traded Markström in exchange for a 2025 1st round pick and defenseman Kevin Bahl. The Flames will retain 31.25% of Markström’s salary. 


Markstöm signed a six year deal with Calgary in the 2020-21 season, where he would go onto play 213 regular season games with the Flames. Despite it being a rocky Flames season, Markström played some of his best hockey this year which was part of the reason he was so sought after by the Devils in March. He had a .905 save percentage this season and played a crucial role in the majority of Calgary’s wins. 


Markström, who turns 35 in January, has two more years left on his deal and will play in the Metro division for the first time in his career and in America for the first time since he was drafted by the Florida Panthers in 2008. He will be joining another recent add on for the Devils in goal, Jake Allen. 


Courtesy of Andrew Mordzynski


The Flames, who are going through a “re-tooling” phase, bring in a young defenseman who has played a career total of 148 NHL games. Bahl, who is coming off his first full NHL season has 25 career points, four goals, 21 assists, and averages 16 minutes of ice time per game. He will be joining a newly developing Flames defense after losing key players such as Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev during the season. 


The 2025 1st round pick is top ten protected but by adding Markström to the roster, the Devils are hoping to not be in a bottom ten situation. For some, the Calgary return on this trade came as a surprise. Rumors about New Jersey giving up their 10th overall pick this year were floating around as well as trading young players such as Dawson Mercer, Alexander Holtz, and newly signed Seamus Casey came about too. 


The Devils have a good, young core group of players who have shown that they can be a playoff contending team but goaltending has been their biggest issue. Since General manager Tom Fitzgerald’s hiring in January of 2020, 14 different goaltenders have suited up for the Devils, Markström will make 15. 


Courtesy of Darryl Dyck


But now where does this put Calgary in terms of goaltending? Well as of right now it looks like the netminding duties will be split between 26 year old Dan Vladar and 23 year old Dustin Wolf. Vladar, who missed the last 14 games with the Flames due to hip surgery, should be ready to go for training camp in September. Wolf played 17 NHL games in the 23-24 season after making his debut against the San Jose Sharks during the last game of the 2022-23 season. He has won the AHL best goaltender of the year award twice and won the AHL MVP award in 2023. 


People are always labeling winners and losers of trades before the season even happens. Depending on how well Bahl can fit in Calgary and how quick of an impact Markström can make in Calgary, we will all have to wait and see who really “won” this trade. 


Edited by Giana Robertaccio



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