New Jersey Devils clearly set the goalie market low after Linus Ullmark return

The New Jersey Devils made the first move of the offseason when it comes to goalies, trading Kevin Bahl and a 2025 first-round pick for Jacob Markstrom. When we eventually see deals for Linus Ullmark, Filip Gustavsson, and possibly Juuse Saros, it's clear their returns will be lower than expected.
Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

The New Jersey Devils made the first move in what is expected to be a goalie frenzy this offseason. Last week, the New Jersey Devils traded a 2025 protected first-round pick and 23-year-old defenseman Kevin Bahl for Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom. It was a decent deal for both sides, with the Devils budging a little for a player who pretty much made it clear he wanted to come to NJ.

Then, it became clear the floodgates were about to burst. With that said, we've seen two huge goalie deals since then. The Darcy Kuemper for Pierre Luc-Dubois swap seemed like an entirely different type of deal (two teams trying to get off bad contracts), but it was the deal that happened on Monday night that has some Devils fans wondering what happened.

That's a wildly unsatisfying return for the Boston Bruins. At this time last year, Ullmark was being named the Vezina Trophy winner after lifting the Bruins to a historc regular season. Now, he's traded for a late first rounder, a cap dump, and a middling prospect. It seems like a much better price than what the Devils paid to the Flames.

New Jersey Devils fans should not react negatively to the Linus Ullmark return.

However, there are two factors that impact the return. For one, Ullmark is on the last year of his deal (while Markstrom still has two years on his contract). This deal also did not come with a contract extension, so it might be a true rental.

Beyond that, the Devils set the market. They had all the assets and teams wanted something premium from them since they had pieces to spare. That's not necessarily the case in Ottawa. The first deal was always going to be the best deal, and the Devils always felt like the team that would make the first deal.

It may seem hard, but Devils fans should not react to this deal or any future deal. They have Jacob Markstrom, and that puts them in a great spot to compete next season.