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Devils, Flames reignite Markstrom talks, other teams also interested


Three months after a potential deal to send Jacob Markstrom from the Calgary Flames to the New Jersey Devils fell through, talks between two sides are back on.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports conversations are taking place between the Flames and Devils, but notes that New Jersey is not the only suitor for the 34-year-old netminder.

"Those conversations with the Flames have taken up again. We know that those two teams almost had a deal done before the trade deadline earlier this season before March 8. It fell apart, but the Devils remain interested in Jacob Markstrom and as importantly, Jacob Markstrom has a full no-move, but my understanding is he's willing to go to New Jersey," LeBrun said Wednesday on SC with Jay Onrait. 

"There are other teams now that weren't there on Markstrom before the trade deadline that have now entered the picture. The Flames are getting calls from multiple teams on Markstrom, not just from the Devils... At this point in time, there's still a difference of opinion on the return, on what it should cost the Devils to get Jacob Markstrom out of Calgary and the Flames are willing to be patient in terms of having a team meet their price."

LeBrun reported in March that one hold up in a trade was the Flames unwillingness to retain salary on Markstrom, who is signed through 2025-26 at a cap hit of $6 million. Speculation around a potential deal went all the way up to the deadline, but 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

Just ahead of the deadline, Markstrom made headlines when he told reporters that Flames’ management could have handled trade talk surrounding him “a lot different.”

“I think everyone in here, every player in here, I really respect them. Everything that’s been going on and not going on…how everyone in this room has handled everything, I think has been really good, you know? The whole situation and everything, am I happy about that? No, I’m not. And I think it could have been handled a lot different from up top,” Markstrom said. 

After the season, Markstrom said he didn't know whether he'd be back with the Flames, while general manager Craig Conroy said "time will tell" when asked about the goaltender's future in April. 

Markstrom finished the campaign 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.

For his career, the Gavle, Sweden native has a .909 save percentage and 2.78 GAA over 483 career games.

Ullmark, Gibson also options for Devils?

While Markstrom appears firmly on the Devils wish list, LeBrun notes that Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark and John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks could also be options for the team on the trade market.

Ullmark's time with the Bruins could be at end after moving into a backup role in the playoffs. Jeremy Swayman, who took over in net, is in need of a new contract as a restricted free agent, and Ullmark is currently slated for unrestricted free agency in 2025 with one year left on his deal at a $5 million cap hit.

LeBrun reports the Ducks are listening on Gibson, who remains signed through the 2026-27 season at a cap hit of $6.4 million. The 30-year-old posted a record of 13-27-2 this season with a .888 save percentage - the worst mark of his career - and a 3.54 GAA. 

Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald confirmed this week he remains interested in adding a goaltender and is also letting it be known that he's open to dealing the 10th overall pick in this month's NHL draft. 

"If we feel it helps us now and in the foreseeable future, then, yes, I'm listening," Fitzgerald told at the league scouting combine.

"I haven't gotten anything yet but the more I talk to teams, I say 'Listen, I'm open to moving No. 10, but it's going to have to be something [significant].'"

The Devils, who missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons this year, hired Sheldon Keefe as their new head coach last month.