Should the Calgary Flames trade Jacob Markstrom?

Calgary Flames, Jacob Markstrom
Calgary Flames, Jacob Markstrom / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Calgary Flames appear certain to be moving both Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin in the coming weeks, but the real question on everyone's mind now is, should the Flames trade superstar goaltender Jacob Markstrom?

Following a stellar performance in the 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night when he saved 32 of the 34 shots he saw on the night, Flames social media went into overdrive with the #trademarkstrom, but should this be the way Calgary go?

In short, there's arguments for both sides that we will explore, but ultimately, yes, it is the right move for the Flames, as they have now set their target on putting a competitive team on the ice for the 2026-27 season, and keeping Markstrom will only keep them in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference.

Why would Calgary keep the veteran superstar?

Before we delve into that, the reason behind keeping Markstrom is simple; any time he is in net, the Flames are in with a chance to win the game, but with the trade conditions surrounding the Sean Monahan-Montreal deal, it's best for the team if they bottom out in 2024-25. Some fans won't want to hear about tanking, and while the Flames are never going to go that far, it's simple, they need to pick in the top-10 of next years draft if they are to keep their pick, and having Markstrom around will complicate things.

Ultimately, Markstrom has been a fantastic player for the Flames since arriving before the 2020-21 season, but if the team are to keep their long-term goals in mind, then they need to move him now while his value is at its highest.

Why should the Flames trade Jacob Markstrom?

Simple, the Flames should trade their 34-year old goaltender for two main reasons; his trade value, especially after a poor 2022-23 campaign will never be higher than this, and when the Flames are aiming to compete in 2026-27 with the arrival of a new arena, he will be pushing 37, with his contract running out before that time.

With an impressive bounce-back season, Markstrom has tallied a 2.58 GAA and a .914 save percentage despite the slow start, and if the Flames want to strike while the iron is hot, now is the time to do so. On top of that, they have a willing trade partner in the New Jersey Devils who appear desperate for goaltending help, and with their reported offer of Alexander Holtz, a first-round pick and more, the Flames shouldn't be hesitating to retain salary to make a deal like that work.

Beyond that, Markstrom struggled a season ago, and while some Flames fans called for a trade then, it appeared as though his value was almost at 0, so with his value now high on the back of 12 of his past 14 games seeing him allow three or less goals, it's time to make a move.

Will the Flames deal Jacob Markstrom?

Over the past few weeks, we've seen conflicting reports, with some claiming that a deal is imminent, others saying that New Jersey will circle back to Calgary for a move and others saying a deal of any kind for Markstrom is dead, so it's tough to predict what's about to happen.

However, Craig Conroy has shown himself to be a savvy General Manager already, with great deals to land Yegor Sharangovich and Andrei Kuzmenko, while also picking up great future assets, and that's what he can make happen here. The Flames continue to ignore the words 'rebuild' or 'tank', but if they can move Marktstrom for a player like Alexander Holtz, while also potentially landing a name like Seamus Casey, it boosts their chances of being competitive by the team the new arena is officially opened.

If we had to predict whether or not Markstrom is on the move in the coming weeks, the answer would be yes, and with the fan base clearly wanting to think of the future over a potential Wild Card run in the next two years with the veteran, it appears Conroy and the front office could be thinking along with them.