NHL Trade Market Heats Up Ahead of Game 6

As if the Stanley Cup Final wasn’t providing hockey fans with enough excitement, the NHL trade market has started to heat up. It’s easy to forget that we’re less than two weeks away from the NHL Draft and the start of the free agency period.

Flames Finally Trade Jacob Markstrom

The Calgary Flames traded Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a first-round pick (top-10 projected) in 2025 and defenseman Kevin Bahl, but Calgary is also retaining 31.25 percent of Markstrom’s salary.

This signifies a retool for the Flames, who have not made the playoffs since 2021-22. Calgary went 38-39-5 last season and finished fifth in the Pacific Division with just 81 points. Bet365 currently lists the Flames at 60/1 to win the Stanley Cup next season.

Meanwhile, it’s a big upgrade for the Devils, who had been seeking an established starter for a while. Markstrom, 34, posted a .905 save percentage this season, and according to Evolving Hockey, he’s finished among the top 10 in goals saved above expected in two out of the last three seasons. It’s also cost-effective, and given that the Montreal Canadiens retained 50 percent of Jake Allen’s contract when they traded him to New Jersey last season, it’s a bet worth making.

New Jersey went 38-39-5, finishing seventh in the Metropolitan Division with 81 points. However, the Devils were projected to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference last season after a record-setting season in 2022-23 with 52 wins and 112 points.

The Devils were listed at +1800 at Sports Interaction prior to the trade, but the sportsbook has removed 2024-25 Cup futures for the time being. New Jersey is currently listed at +1000 to win the 2024/25 Stanley Cup at Bet365. Based on these odds, oddsmakers expect the Devils to return to the 100-point club next season.

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Kings trade Pierre-Luc Dubois to Capitals

Los Angeles dealt forward Pierre-Luc Dubois to Washington on Wednesday in a one-for-one trade for veteran goaltender Darcy Kuemper, with neither side retaining any salary.

The deal comes just one season into Dubois’ eight-year, $68 million contract he signed after being traded to the Kings last summer. The 25-year-old is coming off arguably the worst season of his career, producing just 16 goals and 24 assists in 82 games. Dubois is certainly a candidate to bounce back in 2024-25 after scoring at a 30-goal, 70-point pace in 2022-23, but it’s hard to see him ever living up to the dollar amount over the term of his contract. This is his fourth stop after being selected third overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016.

Kuemper is also looking to bounce back following a down year with the Capitals. The 34-year-old spent two seasons in Washington, one of which was good, but he lost his starting job to Charlie Lindgren this past season after posting a 0.890 save percentage and a 3.31 goals-against average. However, Kuemper saved approximately 30 goals above average between 2021 and 2023, and he’s also just two seasons removed from winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche. Goaltending is never a safe bet, but getting out of the Dubois contract is the most important thing for Los Angeles.

The Kings are currently listed at +2500 to win the 2025 Stanley Cup at Bet365.