Grading the Jacob Markstrom trade for the Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames, Jacob Markstrom
Calgary Flames, Jacob Markstrom / Leah Hennel/GettyImages

After four solid years with the Calgary Flames, veteran goaltender Jacob Markstrom has officially been traded, ending the talks that have dated back some time amongst Flames fans and analysts alike. While the move was expected, it came suddenly, with the 34-year old heading to the New Jersey Devils, and unfortunately for those within the C of Red that were hoping for a haul, that didn't quite happen.

On paper it may not be the most appealing deal, but the Flames also had to deal with the full NMC given to Markstrom by Brad Treliving, but ultimately, it was a deal that needed to be made, and Craig Conroy did the right thing by making the deal happen now. The first asset the Flames got in return was a 2025 (top 10 protected) first-round draft pick, and while it wasn't the No. 10 overall that most were hoping for, it's still another top asset for the Flames to potentially land another piece of their future.

On top of that the Flames have acquired defenseman Kevin Bahl, who stands at 6-foot-6 and just completed his first full season at the NHL level, tallying 1 goal and 11 points in all 82 games played. That's not Bahl's strength however, as he tallied 151 hits on the year alongside 103 blocks, all while being one of the more penalized players in the league with 82 PIM in 2023-24.

With the potential to play key PK minutes and be a physical presence, all while being just 23-years of age, Bahl is the type of player that fits this Flames system, and if he improves offensively, he could become a potential replacement for Nikita Zadorov in this lineup. The final piece of this trade for Calgary was the salary retention, as the team reportedly opted to retain 31.25% of Markstrom's salary over the next two years, and given the lack of assets in return, it's easy to see why Calgary fans are upset.

Originally, the trade would have been given a B if the team didn't retain salary, but ultimately it may have been necessary to make the deal happen. On the surface it may be disappointing for Flames fans, but the team now have two first-round picks in each of the next three drafts, and with Bahl expected to be a solid piece for the future with size and great defensive minded play, the deal was a solid one that won't go down as the team's best, but won't go down as their worst either.

Grade for the trade: B-