5 blockbuster goalie trades that give New Jersey Devils context for their own deal

The New Jersey Devils are facing a dilemma this offseason. While they don't want to overspend to fill a need, they also don't want to end up without a goalie again. So, they should look at history to find the right price to spend for a star at the position.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports / Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Jersey Devils need a goalie. This is not news. It’s honestly one of the most prevalent topics we’ve ever seen since Ilya Kovalchuk retired. This is a constant talking point for more than 12 months. It’s also one of those talking points that led to nothing but came to fruition at the same time. The Devils were pushing for a star goalie last offseason and all of last season, but the trigger was never pulled. Whether that was because the price to acquire a superstar was too high, or the said superstar got blocked, the Devils were left with bad goaltending that sunk the season.

Now, the Devils need to make a move. Many are expecting the Devils to make the first goalie move of the offseason. Everyone is using them as a basis point, not only in their private trade talks but likely through sources in the media. Once the Devils make a move, other teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes will use that deal as a trend setter. 

The hard part for the Devils is since they are likely first, there is no precedence for the market. Every team is looking for the best possible deal, and that means they are starting from a position of perceived power. They want the moon from the Devils. However, the Devils can use some historic goalie trades to set their own market. 

Trade 1

We’ll start with probably the most popular goalie in the league right now. The Florida Panthers didn’t get Sergei Bobrovsky through a trade. They paid a handsome price in free agency ($10 million per season). However, the trade between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers is now legendary. It was a massive underpayment in hindsight, but the Flyers were selling on Bob when he wasn’t a guarantee. 

When looking at how the Devils could equate this deal to one happening now, it wouldn’t be for one of the stars. This would be for someone like the Minnesota Wild’s Filip Gustavsson. He’s a player who’s shown some flashes, but he was very inconsistent last season. There’s some upside there, but how much?

Bobrovsky quickly became one of the best goalies in the league when he was traded to Columbus. In his first year, he won the Vezina Trophy. Gustavsson could probably fetch a collection of draft picks. If the Devils are willing to go for someone with upside and much younger than the other options, this is on the table.