Jacob Markstrom reportedly blocked a trade to Toronto

Dean Chaudhry
June 20, 2024  (5:04 PM)

Jacob Markstrom attempting to make a breakaway save against Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils.
Photo credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports

While the Toronto Maple Leafs had an offer on the table for Jacob Markstrom, it seems like the goaltender used his NMC to land in New Jersey instead.

The Devils and the Calgary Flames finally came to terms on a deal that sent the veteran goaltender to his preferred destination in New Jersey. There was constant chatter and communication between both sides this past season and a trade was almost completed ahead of the trade deadline but it just fell through at the last second.
While plenty of other teams threw their hand in the ring, like the Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators, it seems like Flames were doing their due diligence on what Markstrom preferred instead of perhaps going for the better deal on the table. Now, we don't know what the Senators or the Leafs offered the Flames but it was a well known fact that Markstrom wanted New Jersey and made that point relatively clear with the front office in Calgary.
Former goaltender turned analyst, Martin Biron, took to First Up to discuss what he has heard in regards to the Maple Leafs and the Markstrom saga:
"I do feel that Markstrom had a major say in where he was going to go - that no-movement clause - but would he have been open to going to Toronto? I think if the Leafs were having conversations and potentially making an offer on Markstrom, that's because the answer would have been yeah, Markstrom was open to going to Toronto. But was he like 'okay, if i have to go Toronto then I'll go to Toronto but really I want New Jersey, so make it work with the Devils and then if you absolutely cannot make it work'.

I feel like Markstrom dictated where he wanted to go so the leafs could have had a better offer on the table, I think Markstrom really wanted to go to New Jersey. He wanted to go to New Jersey last year, he wanted to go to New Jersey this year, so he probably made that adamant, regardless of what the offer would have been from the Leafs or anybody else."
So while it is understood that Markstrom would have waived his no-movement clause for the Maple Leafs, it was more of a Plan B or Plan C than anything else. New Jersey was his preferred destination and the Flames seemingly did him a favour focusing more on the Devils regardless of the other offers on the table.
Something similar occurred in 2022 when the Philadelphia Flyers traded Claude Giroux ahead of the trade deadline. He was willing to waive his no-movement clause for a bunch of different teams, Colorado apparently had a very good offer on the table, but he only wanted Florida and the Flyers obliged by sending him to the Panthers.
With another goaltender on the move, the Maple Leafs will have to set their sights elsewhere as they continue to look for a solid tandem partner for Joseph Woll ahead of the 2024-25 season. Biron mentions that the Leafs could look to the secondary market with names like Laurent Brossoit, Anthony Stolarz, or Cam Talbot to provide stability for Woll as he attempts to take the reigns in his second full season at the NHL-level.