The Calgary Flames have been active ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. Calgary has sent three players out the door — Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm, and Chris Tanev. However, they may not be done. In fact, two additional players could see themselves going out the door by the March 8 deadline.

The Flames are looking to trade some of their pending unrestricted free agents. One name everyone has their eyes on is defenseman Noah Hanifin. The 26-year-old is one of the top trade candidates in the league right now. Especially with Tanev dealt to the Dallas Stars.

However, they may not limit their dealings to players on expiring contracts. The Flames could trade players with a bit of term, like goalie Jacob Markstrom. That is certainly a double-edged sword. On one hand, those players will inherently carry higher value as acquiring teams will have them past this season.

That said, those players are also some of Calgary's best. And they aren't a bad team by any means. The Flames are still in contention for a playoff spot. Though the team has taken a hit through trade, Calgary could still go for it if they really wanted to.

The NHL Trade Deadline will tell us a lot about the Flames moving forward. That said, there is one situation they need to avoid if they can. Here is the nightmare scenario for the Calgary Flames ahead of the March 8 trade deadline.

Flames need to decide on Jacob Markstrom

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) skates during the first period against the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been made of Markstrom's availability this year. Many have wondered whether the Flames will trade the veteran goaltender or hold onto him for the rest of the season. However, reports recently surfaced that Calgary had a deal with the New Jersey Devils involving Markstrom that fell through.

A lot has been said of that reported deal. Some believe it fell through due to the Flames needing to retain salary. Others think it never got that far. In any event, these rumors are now public knowledge. And it could have caused a rift between the Flames and their goalie if Markstrom's comments are any indication.

RECOMMENDED (Article Continues Below)

“I think everyone in here, every player in here, I really respect everything that’s been going on and not going on,” Markstrom said, via The Athletic. “How everyone in this room have handled everything, I think it’s been really good. The whole situation and everything, am I happy about that? No, I’m not. And I think it could’ve been handled a lot different from up top.”

If Calgary hoped to put this off until the summer, this could put a wrench in that idea. Rushing into a Jacob Markstrom trade is the nightmare scenario for the Flames this year. They cannot cobble a trade together simply because Markstrom forced the issue.

The Flames need to sit down with their veteran puck-stopper as soon as possible. They need to talk and a decision must be made. If Markstrom wants out now, Calgary should take this upcoming week to field offers and consider everything. If this can wait until the summer, the team must smooth things over with their veteran.

Calgary has to be smart about this situation. They already received a lighter return than expected in the Chris Tanev trade. Imagine what could happen if Markstrom makes a public trade request. It could seriously hurt any return the Flames may receive. That certainly would spell disaster for Calgary, no matter how you feel about the Tanev deal.