Reason #2: Retention
The New Jersey Devils are looking for someone to either take Vitek Vanecek in a deal or retain money on a contract, which would include Markstrom's. Since he has two years left on the deal, the Devils are asking a lot of the Flames. Obviously, they can recruit a third party to retain some money, but to retain with term is going to cost a ton.
So, the Devils probably need to focus on the Flames. Here's the issue; the Flames NEVER retain money on trades. That's going to end any negotiation. Honestly, the Devils can afford Markstrom at this point, but it sounds like the Devils don't want to be on the hook for the entire $6 million that Markstrom is owed until 2026.
We're not sure how else to say this: this is going to kill the deal. It's probably killed the deal multiple times between the Devils and Flames. Fitzgerald needs to get creative if he wants retention. They need to recruit another team, and that could cost them a first-round pick that's not even going to the Flames. So, the Devils would need to send a first rounder to a team for retention, then pay the ridiculously high price for Markstrom himself. All this, while they are scraping at their playoff hopes.
It sounds like this could make it not worth it. However, the Devils should really just eat the deal if that's what's stopping it. If the Flames are willing to take Vanecek's deal (a big if), then it's bascially the same as retention.