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Jacob Markstrom’s future with the Calgary Flames doesn’t seem any clearer after exit interviews

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
There are two things we think we know, folks. First, Jacob Markstrom is one heck of a goalie who had a superb campaign in less-than-ideal circumstances for the Flames last season. Second, Markstrom was not particularly happy to see his name so prominently in trade rumours in the media throughout this season. And he made that known just prior to the trade deadline.
If you were looking for clues about Markstrom’s future with the Flames, you didn’t get many during the final media availabilities of the 2023-24 season.
As part of the standard exit interview procedure at the end of the season, Markstrom met with Flames management. He declined to get into details regarding what was discussed, though Flames general manager Craig Conroy discussed that meeting a bit more.
“I think season just ended and, you know, I saw Connie and I’ll leave it at that,” said Markstrom.
“Marky explained where he was at,” said Conroy. “I talked to him about where we were at. [Markstrom’s agent] Pat Morris and everybody kind of knows now, so that’s obviously we’re going to keep that between ourselves. But, you know, it was cordial. It was good. He’s a great pro… You know what, we had a good talk and then, just like everyone else.”
In his comments in early March, Markstrom said “I think it could have been handled a lot different from up top.” When asked what he thought could have been handled better, Markstrom provided a bit of an explanation.
“Well, in my mind, obviously I’m here now. All the rambling could have been not happening. That’s kind of, you know, all the talks and all the stuff that was going on throughout the season, starting early in the season ‘til the deadline, they pretty much could have been not happening and just me focusing on hockey. That’s what I would have appreciated because, you know, obviously I’m still here. So to me, to just be able to focus on the team and trying to play as good as I can without any distractions, I think what I was mostly pointing at.”
Asked subsequently if he led to believe he was going to New Jersey last season, Markstrom declined to delve into it.
“I’m not going to go into details here on stage with a bunch of cameras,” said Markstrom. “Whatever we talked about stays between us, and that’s how it’s going to be. I’m not going to share personal conversations I had with management.”
When asked if he sees Markstrom as part of the team next season, Conroy had an interesting response.
“You know, time will tell with all that, with everything we’re doing,” said Conroy, before discussing briefly trying to figure out how they move the team’s progression forward. “It’s hard to put today expectations of what’s going to happen in a month or a day or a week or moving forward.”
It’s unlikely that anybody was expecting Markstrom or Conroy to make sweeping declarations in front of the media on Friday – neither sent Markstrom out of town on a rail, nor did they proclaim he was a Flame for life. However, none of their comments really did much to quell speculation that perhaps Markstrom’s wearing another team’s jersey in the fall – when asked where he saw himself next season and beyond, Markstrom’s answer began with “I don’t know” and transitioned into him discussing how much he wants to win games.
From a purely contractual standpoint, the Flames don’t necessarily need to make any moves with their goaltenders. Markstrom is under contract for two more seasons and has a full no-move clause. Dan Vladar is ahead of schedule from his hip surgery and is expected to be a full participant in training camp. Dustin Wolf has one last season (or 62 games) remaining on his waiver exemption, according to Cap Friendly.
But unless the fences have been mended, or still can be mended, between Markstrom and management, perhaps the Swedish netminder could find himself elsewhere when the Flames arrive for training camp in September. Markstrom’s status may be the single biggest storyline for Flames fans to follow over the off-season.
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