Devils Acquire Standout Goaltender in Major Trade

Things went downhill for him with a .892 save percentage in 2022-23, but he bounced back this season despite some injuries. His 23-23-2 record might not look great, but he was one of the top goalies in goals saved above expected with 13.7, according to MoneyPuck. He had a .905 save percentage, a 2.78 goals-against average, and two shutouts on a Flames team that struggled defensively under new coach Ryan Huska.

Even so, his stats last year were hurt by a bad stretch after the trade deadline—he was playing through rumors about going to New Jersey and dealing with a lower-body injury. From March 4 onward, he went 2-8-0 with a .869 save percentage and didn’t have any games over .900 save percentage. In short, his season was better than it seemed at first glance.

Since signing his six-year deal worth $36 million in free agency in 2020, he’s had ups and downs with the Flames. Over 212 starts plus one relief appearance, he’s posted a .907 save percentage and saved seven goals above average . He’s one of only four goalies to start more than 200 games during this period along with Hellebuyck, Saros, and Vasilevskiy.

Markstrom’s Move to New Jersey:

Getting Markstrom at $4.125 million against the cap for the next two years is quite the bargain for Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald—it’s way cheaper than he’d be on the open market. He’ll team up with Allen in net; Allen is still under contract next season at just $1.925 million thanks to salary retained by Montreal when they traded him at the deadline last year. The Devils now have solid goaltending options after struggling with younger players like Schmid and Vanecek last season.

Fans might think this move sets up the Devils well for next season’s playoffs.

Calling Markstrom elite could be debated because of his inconsistent years in Calgary—and that’s fair—but he’s got the most reliable track record since Cory Schneider’s prime years in New Jersey during the mid-2010s. This trade gives them a better shot at making it deeper into playoffs next year compared to their second-round exit against Hurricanes last time around.

Markstrom is now 34 years old and has two years left on his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2026; ideally by then Daws or Schmid will have developed into reliable NHL options themselves. They still have $16.05 million left in projected cap space according to CapFriendly—with eight roster spots open—and Dawson Mercer as their main restricted free agent needing a new contract.

Pulling off this deal without giving up top prospects or their tenth overall pick this year is impressive work by Fitzgerald especially considering Calgary kept part of Markstrom’s salary too! Losing Bahl isn’t nothing though—the young defenseman had an okay first full NHL season averaging over seventeen minutes per game while putting up eleven points across eighty-two games—but his possession stats were below team averages which makes sense why Calgary wanted him so badly during discussions as noted by Craig Conroy via Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.

Bahl still has potential; he’s under contract next season at just over $1 million before becoming arbitration-eligible RFA next summer having played nearly one hundred fifty career games since debuting back during twenty-twenty-one season scoring four goals adding twenty-one assists totaling twenty-five points while averaging sixteen minutes per contest!

If New Jersey’s first-round pick lands within top ten come twenty-twenty-five draft they’ll instead send their twenty-twenty-six first-rounder regardless where it falls according TSN reports from Travis Yost (first reporting Markstrom heading NJ) Darren Dreger (first reporting trade return/salary retention) Pierre LeBrun (first reporting top-ten protection).

What do you think about all these moves?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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