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Markstrom Approved Deal to Devils: Why Trade Broke Down

Reports are surfacing that Jacob Markstrom approved a deal to the New Jersey Devils but talks between the Flames and Devils broke down.

There’s been a ton of talk surrounding the NHL goaltending trade market over the past 48 hours. Specifically, speculation related to a potential trade that would have seen Jacob Markstrom go to the New Jersey Devils created a stir, but the trade talks died. Now, more information is coming to light, including reports that Markstrom was asked to waive his no-trade clause and did so, approving the deal.

Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald‘s determination to bolster his team has been evident. The Devils have been linked to several potential trades, Markstrom perhaps being the biggest. Recent reports unveiled serious trade discussions between the two teams, indicating a potential significant upgrade for New Jersey. However, despite Markstrom’s willingness to join the Devils, the deal ultimately collapsed, and he remains with Calgary.

Jacob Markstrom Devils trade rumors. Did he waive to join the Devils?

Insider Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff shed light on the behind-the-scenes developments, stating that the Flames had approached Markstrom about waiving his no-move clause for the intended deal. He explained:

“I think the Devils and Flames were pretty far down the track on a Markstrom deal. I think it did get to his level to approve it, there were no issues there. Somehow along the way, that trade was scuttled. Don’t know how and don’t know why. But, they were pretty close to nailing it down. You would have seen Jacob Markstrom become a New Jersey Devil, I think at some point last week.”

While Seravalli wasn’t sure why the deal fell apart, another insider shed some light on that situation. Elliotte Friedman also linked the Devils and Flames in trade talks over Markstrom. He suggested the deal fell apart, with the stumbling block appearing to be Calgary’s reluctance to retain salary on Markstrom’s $6 million cap hit. They wanted to get his cap hit down a touch. The Flames felt they could move the player without taking on money.

So Now What for the Devils and Flames?

Seravalli expressed skepticism about the two sides revisiting the deal. That means the Devils will likely have to move on to another target with Juusa Saros’ name out there. Meanwhile, if the Flames want to move Markstrom, might they need to reconsider the idea of retaining salary on the player? The Flames will eventually need to make a goaltending decision. They have Dustin Wolf coming up through the system.

For the Devils, Plan B is now in the works. Getting that close on Markstrom has likely only lit a fire under Fitzgerald to make a move. Seravalli says the Devils are looking for a player who isn’t a rental. Kevin Weekes is reporting: In addition to @NHLFlames G Markstrom, the @NJDevils have had an interest in @BlueJacketsNHL G [Elvis] Merzlikins as well. They remain on the hunt shopping for help in Goal, curious to see where this ends up here in The Garden State.”

Next: Maple Leafs Roster Evaluation: Areas in Need of Improvement

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