NHL Rumour Roundup: Maple Leafs made comparable offer for Markstrom

Elliotte Friedman joins Jeff Marek to discuss the Jacob Markstrom's preferred destinations for his trade, and why Dawson Mercer was never in the deal for the Devils.

The New Jersey Devils were the winners of the Jacob Markstrom sweepstakes but they certainly had competition for the netminder.

It was no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are in the market for a goaltender, were among the teams looking to swing a deal for Markstrom.

Unfortunately, a deal between Toronto and Calgary could not come to fruition, despite general manager Brad Treliving putting together a fair trade proposal, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in the latest edition of the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast.

“I heard their offer to Calgary was comparable to New Jersey’s,” Friedman said. “But I think because of the politics there, I think Toronto was going to have to blow anyone else out of the water to get that player.

“I also think Markstrom at the end of the day preferred New Jersey most but he opened it up to teams like Toronto and Ottawa in the Eastern Conference but I think the Maple Leafs were going to have to win that deal.”

So where do the Leafs go from here?

Friedman mentions a couple of goaltenders the Leafs will likely be linked to with free agency approaching.

“We know Toronto is in the goalie market but I think that’s more of a Laurent Brossoit, Anthony Stolarz type piece,” Friedman said.

The concern with an Ullmark deal

While Markstrom’s trade now puts the Boston Bruins in a good position with one of the top goaltenders available on the trade market in Linus Ullmark, it’s a complicated deal to get done for a number of reasons.

The first hurdle is the fact that Ullmark has a modified no-trade clause.

“The thing you have to talk about is the way agents and players shape this. It’s not as simple as saying, take the 14 places I hate the most and put them on my list,” Friedman explained. “It’s also strategic in the sense that they’ll go look and say ‘Well this team doesn’t need a goalie, we could get traded to this team that needs a goalie so how do we feel about it? And it we don’t like it, we better make sure that team’s on the list.'”

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Unfortunately for the Senators, who are in the market for a goaltender, Friedman believes they are on Ullmark’s no-trade list, so that eliminates one place for Boston to consider, although they might not be keen on trading within the division anyway.

What also makes an Ullmark trade difficult is his contract status as he’s in the final year of his deal with a $5 million cap hit.

“One of the things I’ve heard here is: what if you’re going to pay the price that Boston is asking, which is a big price, are you going to be comfortable with Ullmark as a rental or are you going to want to have an extension in place?” Friedman explained. “That leads to two problems. Would Ullmark want to extend there and can the two sides make a deal that both would be happy with?

“From what I’ve heard, that’s going to be a challenge. I do think New Jersey looked at Ullmark, too, in addition to Markstrom. And I think that there was a challenge there as well. Markstrom has two years left so it’s a little less of a concern but I think that was an issue.”

With an Ullmark trade being a complicated one, Friedman wonders if the Bruins will feel pressure to lower its asking price.

Also, would Boston be comfortable trading Ullmark within the Atlantic Division? Detroit Red Wings Steve Yzerman recently told The Athletic that he isn’t keen on spending prime trade assets to acquire an older goaltender who might only be a short-term fix.

“Looking at this Yzerman quote, if he is interested in Ullmark, that says to me he wants Ullmark with an extension,” Friedman said.

Jets looking at trade options for McGroarty

Rutger McGroarty won’t be in the NHL next season after announcing that he will return to the University of Michigan for his junior year.

The Winnipeg Jets selected the forward 14th overall in the 2022 NHL Draft and now could look to part with the 20-year-old.

“So I’m gonna be really careful here because there’s are a lot of answers I don’t have. His family advisor is not talking and the Jets are not talking but the one thing I can tell you is that I have heard his name has come up in trade discussions,” Friedman said about McGroarty.

“The Jets have discussed trading and other teams have discussed acquiring McGroarty’s rights…And again, I’m not gonna guess on anything here, but I’m simply going to say that I’ve heard his name has come up in trade conversations. So we’ll see where this all goes over the next couple of weeks. He’s a good player and he would be coveted.”

The Jets do have some time to figure out McGroarty’s future, as Winnipeg has his contract rights for two more years before he becomes a free agent.

McGroarty scored 16 goals and 52 points in 36 games this season and earned a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team.

Canucks looking at familiar face as backup plan

The Vancouver Canucks are looking to build off their impressive season with some key additions to their top six forward group.

One player that appears to be at the top of their wish-list, along with many other teams, is pending free agent Jake Guentzel.

However, with the competition for Guentzel’s services expect to be tough, Vancouver is looking at backup options.

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“I wonder if Tyler Toffoli is back on Vancouver’s radar,” Friedman said. “In case you bust (on Guentzel) you actually have to have a plan. I’ve heard and I could see Toffoli being a guy who’s on the New York Rangers’ radar, too, with the money that they got now. But I wondered about Toffoli in Vancouver this week, they know him and that’s another name that popped into my head.”

Toffoli split this past season between the Jets and New Jersey Devils, where he scored 33 goals and 55 points in 79 games.

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