Toronto Maple Leafs Could be in On Deal for Top Netminder

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market for a starting goaltender. As the Leafs search the trade market, one netminder stands out as a potential solution. However, the club will need to compete with others to land the coveted goalie.
Could the Toronto Maple Leafs pull of a trade for Calgary Flames' netminder Jacob Markstrom?
Could the Toronto Maple Leafs pull of a trade for Calgary Flames' netminder Jacob Markstrom? / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs need a goalie, and Calgary Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom has been the subject of trade rumors since this year’s deadline.

While the Flames did not move Markstrom, the speculation persists regarding a potential deal between the Flames and several possible suitors, including the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Hockey News reported insider Elliotte Friedman’s comments regarding the New Jersey Devils as a potential destination for the veteran goaltender. According to Friedman, the Devils are prepared to throw in their tenth overall pick in this year’s draft.

Another team that appears to be in the hunt for Jacob Markstrom is Ottawa. The Senators had a disappointing season this year, with Joonas Korpisalo underwhelming in the nation’s capital. As such, the Sens could make a move for Markstrom.

The Sens could have the pieces to make a major move. However, it remains to be seen if Sens are willing to part with their seventh overall pick, among other assets.

Friedman also pointed out that the Carolina Hurricanes could make a splash by sending Martin Necas to Calgary. You rarely see star players traded for a Goalie, but Calgary could do a lot worse.

Toronto Maple Leafs Could be in On Deal for Top Netminder

That brings us to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Friedman suggested that given Markstrom’s familiarity with Leafs GM Brad Treliving, a deal could work out. However, it’s unclear if the Leafs’ 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft would entice Calgary very much.

Perhaps the Leafs would need to build a package around players such as Nick Robertson, Easton Cowan, or Fraser Minten. Other teams seem to have more readily obvious trade pieces that Calgary would seemingly prefer.

Complicating this is that the Leafs have almost no draft picks next season, and would probably be hesitant to trade players who can play for them next year on cheap deals, especially given the age of Markstrom.

Let’s assume for a moment that Flames GM Craig Conroy likes what he gets from Toronto. Let’s also assume that Markstrom is happy to rejoin Treliving. The deal gets down, and the Leafs don’t get fleeced.

Would that situation solve the Leafs goaltending issues?

In the short run, it seems highly likely. At 34, Markstrom is a proven veteran starter who can carry the workload. Unless he gets hurt, Markstrom can easily deliver fifty-some-odd starts. That’s not bad, considering last year’s carrousel involving Ilya Samsonov, Joseph Woll, and Martin Jones.

The Leafs could roll out Markstrom as the starter, with Woll as the understudy waiting in the wings. But that’s where things get dicey. Markstrom is under contract for two more years and he's already 34 which means his play could fall of a cliff at any time.

Ultimately, acquiring Markstrom would make sense if Toronto feels 2024-2025 is their last chance at a Cup in a while. The club could go all in and hope for the best. If the Leafs come up short once again, the consolation prize is cap space as Mitch Marner and John Tavares’s contracts come off the books.

Personally, I wouldn’t touch Markstrom with a ten-foot pole. There’s no guarantee the Leafs will get the guy they need. Plus, the price tag doesn’t offset the risk. Perhaps Treliving can use a voodoo curse to hypnotize Chris Drury into making a Marner-for-Shesterkin deal.


That deal could solve a heck of a lot more problems in Leafs Land.