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Flames trade G Markstrom to Devils for Bahl, 2025 first-rounder


The Calgary Flames traded goaltender Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, retaining 31 per cent of his $6 million cap hit to complete the deal.

Defenceman Kevin Bahl and a 2025 first-round pick, which is top-10 protected, are headed back to Calgary in the deal. The Flames, who are without their own first-round pick in 2025, now have six first-round selections over the next three drafts. 

Bahl, 23, had one goal and 11 points in 82 games with the Devils this season. A second round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2018, Bahl is signed through next season at a cap hit of $1.05 million ahead of restricted free agency in 2025.

Markstrom waived his no-trade clause for the move. He is entering the fifth year of a six-year, $30 million deal, but will count for $4.125 million against the Devils cap after the retention by the Flames. He remains scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2025-26 campaign.

The 34-year-old netminder finished this season with a 23-23-2 record with a .905 save percentage and a 2.78 goals-against average. He posted a career-best .922 save percentage in 2021-22 before experiencing a significant dip with a .892 mark last year. 

The move ends months of speculation dating back to before the trade deadline, when the Flames and Devils reportedly discussing a Markstrom trade, but couldn't reach a deal. TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported in March that one hold up in a trade was the Flames unwillingness to retain salary on Markstrom. The Devils were ultimately forced to turn elsewhere, acquiring Jake Allen from the Montreal Canadiens and also sending Vitek Vanecek to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for fellow netminder Kaapo Kahkonen. Allen remains under contract for next season at a cap hit of $1.925 million after the Canadiens retained half of his salary. Kahkonen is slated for unrestricted free agency.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dregers reports Markstrom allowed the Flames to expand trade discussions to other clubs this month, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators among those to show interest. In the end, though, the Devils made the best offer for his services.

"Today’s trade demonstrates our focus on the infusion of young talented players into our roster as well as acquiring important draft capital, while maintaining our commitment as a playoff competitive team,” said Flames general manager Craig Conroy said in a release. "We thank Jacob for his professionalism and understanding of our decision to make this trade now and at this stage in his career."

Markstrom played four seasons with the Flames with his best year coming in 2021-22 were he went 37-15-9 with a .922 save percentage and 2.22 GAA. He finished second in Vezina Trophy voting that season.

Drafted 31st overall by the Florida Panthers in 2008, Markstrom has a career 215-196-57 record with a .909 save percentage and 2.73 GAA.

The Gavle, Sweden, native represented his country four times at the World Championship, taking home a gold medal in 2013 and a bronze medal in 2010. He also represented Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, taking home a bronze medal.