Reacting to a busy NHL news day with Markstrom, PLD, and more moving: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
23 days ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal sat down to discuss the busy day of trades in the NHL, with the major moves being Pierre-Luc Dubois shipped to Washington and Jakob Markstrom heading to guard the crease in New Jersey for the Devils.
First up was the PLD trade, which saw the Capitals send 34-year-old goaltender Darcy Kuemper to the L.A. Kings for Pierre-Luc Dubois, one for one. Dubois had a rough year in L.A. after the Kings gave up their own ransom to acquire him from Winnipeg back in 2023 who had just given him an 8 year contract worth $85 million. Kuemper lost his starting role in Washington to Charlie Lindgren, so both players (or just the organizations) were looking for a fresh start.
“What’s with NHL teams giving help to teams in distress?” Harm asked. “I don’t understand what Washington is trying to do; they’re trying to stay competitive, but they have such an aging core and some bad contracts. Tom Wilson’s 8-year, $6.5 million per season extension hasn’t kicked in yet, they don’t have much in the way of high-end prospects; it’s like they’re committing to mediocrity forever. The San Jose Sharks picked up Barclay Goodrow off waivers; a fourth-line player who, sure, was good in the Eastern Conference finals, but he makes around $3.5 million and Mike Grier just says, ‘I’ll take that off your hands.’”
“Darcy Kuemper lost his starting job in Washington this year, just turned 34 years old, and he has 3 years left at a $4.5 million cap hit, so it’s not like he’s on a great contract either; it’s clearly an undesirable one the Caps wanted to get rid of,” Harm continued. “On the other hand, I’m looking at how much better the Kings defend compared to the Capitals, and Kuemper should be able to bounce back within the Kings’ system.”
“Washington is moving out what they view as their backup goaltender and trading for a guy that once had a pretty high pedigree,” Quads added. “We’ll see what they do, but they have the goaltending depth; they don’t need Darcy Kuemper. It’s a team that’s basically getting a lottery ticket with Dubois and hoping he can bounce back and become something. We’re talking about mediocrity; their sole purpose as an organization is to get Alex Ovechkin that goals record; they’re not trying to win the cup next year. Pierre-Luc Dubois becomes their best centre with this trade.”
The guys then got to the Jakob Markstrom trade, which saw the Devils sending defenceman Kevin Bahl and a 2025 first-round pick to Calgary in exchange for Markstrom.
“I love this for New Jersey,” Harm started. “The Devils need to defend better, but their goaltenders also couldn’t bail them out when they needed them. Markstrom has a history of succeeding in high-tempo environments where his team is maybe a bit loose defensively and they give up some rush chances. This past season with the Flames moving away from Darryl Sutter; they gave up a lot more chances than they did the previous year, and Markstrom was terrific this season. The Devils are going to want to tighten things up to some extent, but the point is, they can be average defensively and Markstrom can be an above-average starter for them, which should go a long way towards reducing the number of goals against. They didn’t give up a whole lot; Kevin Bahl, who is a third-pair defenceman, and the Devils have lots of young D-men. The 2025 first-round pick; I believe the Devils will bounce back and that first is going to be a late first rather than an early rounder. Ultimately, they didn’t have to give up Holtz, Mercer, or any of their premium blue-chip assets.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s episode below:

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