Here is where Tom Fitzgerald puts all his chips on the table. It's rare that two huge names are traded in the same deal, but it's happened before. The Devils would be a completely different team if they traded for Hanifin and Markstrom at the same time. If the Ducks (or any other team for that matter) retain $2 million on Markstrom's contract, that makes the Markstrom and Hanifin hit at $8.95 million this season. That's almost exactly what Dougie Hamilton's LTIR relief will be, giving the Devils a chance to avoid playing cap gymnastics for the rest of the season.
That will cost the Devils a lot. Some will say this isn't enough, and others will say it's too much to give up. Akira Schmid just saved the Devils season less than a year ago, beating the Rangers almost single handedly. This season, he hasn't been nearly as good, but he's not "scrap heap" bad. He still has a lot of talent.
The Devils avoid trading Seamus Casey and the remaining rights of their first-round pick by giving up Schmid. The Flames think they have their goalie of the future in Dustin Wolf, but he hasn't exactly impressed to start his career. This gives the Flames a backup plan, just in case. They also get Lenni Hameenaho, the Devils' second-round pick who already looks like he could be first-round value. He was really good for Finland at the World Juniors this season. The Devils would also throw in Nathan Bastian, who might thrive in a Calgary system that plays to his strengths.
The biggest snag in this trade is if the Ducks would take on $2 million for three years for just a third-round pick. They might be asking for that Devils second-round pick, if not more. However, it makes this trade much easier, so maybe the Devils or the Flames add a little something for the Ducks to sweeten the pot.