Flames trade goaltender Jacob Markstrom to Devils

Sportsnet's Ryan Leslie joins The Jeff Marek Show to discuss the Calgary Flames' motivation for trading star goaltender Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenceman Kevin Bahl and a top-10 protected 2025 pick.

The Calgary Flames have agreed to trade star goaltender Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils.

The Flames are receiving defenceman Kevin Bahl and a top-10 protected 2025 pick in return for the 34-year-old.

Calgary will retain 31.25 per cent of Markstrom’s remaining contract. The netminder is headed into the fifth season of a six-year, $36-million contract he signed with the Flames in 2020. The cap hit for the deal in New Jersey will be $4,125,000 each season.

He has been among the top goalies in the NHL since joining Calgary and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2021-22. This past season, Markstrom had a .905 save percentage and a 23-23-2 record.

Markstrom ranks fifth all-time among Flames goalies in games played and wins and third in shutouts.

In a Q&A with Sportsnet’s Eric Francis published on Tuesday, Calgary general manager Craig Conroy said that Markstrom had not requested a trade despite some of the rumours to come out around the goaltender over the past few months.

“It’s part of the game, but it does bother me because it’s always out there — there’s something about the goalie all the time and I don’t think it’s fair to the goalie either,” Conroy told Francis of the chatter around Markstrom.

“I feel more for him because I’ve been on the other side of this.

“Everyone wants to speculate and throw things out there and I don’t think it’s fair to him.”

It has been reported that the Flames and Devils came close to a Markstrom deal at the trade deadline, but Calgary opted to keep their top goalie after a strong stretch of play.

During his exit interview at the end of the Flames’ season, Markstrom didn’t do much to dispel the notion that he might not be back in Calgary for the 2024-25 season.

“What I do know is I love winning hockey games,” he said about his future. “That’s the competitive side of me. Every time I lace up my skates that’s what I want to accomplish. That’s pretty much where my head is at right now.”

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The 14-year NHL veteran refused to go into any details about the potential pre-deadline deal to the Devils, but said his relationship with the front office was not strained.

“In my mind, I’m here now, so all the rambling could have been not happening,” he explained as to why the mid-season trade talks were so frustrating. “That’s what I would have appreciated, just me focusing on the team and playing as good as I can without any distractions, is what I was mostly pointing at.”

Bahl, 23, played in all 82 games for New Jersey in 2023-24, scoring one goal and 10 points. He had a plus-one rating and 82 penalty minutes, as well.

Originally a second-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2018, Bahl was traded to New Jersey as part of a package for forward Taylor Hall in 2019. He made his NHL debut in 2020-21 and has appeared in all four seasons with the Devils since.

The six-foot-six, 230-pound defenceman has played 148 career games and scored four goals and 25 points.

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The trade clears up the Flames to give the crease to 23-year-old Dustin Wolf.

Wolf, a seventh-round pick by Calgary in 2019, has emerged as one of the top goalie prospects over the past two seasons. With the Flames’ AHL affiliate, in Stockton and Calgary, the six-foot-tall netminder has won the league’s MVP and two Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Awards as the top goaltender.

He made his NHL debut in the final game of the 2022-23 season and appeared in 17 games with the Flames this past year. With Calgary in 2023-24, Wold posted a 7-7-1 record with a .893 save percentage and 3.16 goals-against-average.

June 19, 2024 - 12:11 pm ET
cgy Calgary Flames
  • Kevin Bahl
  • First-round pick (2025)
  • Retains 31.25% of Markstrom's salary
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