Ever since I saw chatter and curiosity on this subject, I’ve been checking online for updates. After the tragic passing of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks, most fans expected that Joonas Korpisalo wouldn’t be moved. That appears now to be questionable, as the team still has one ear open to offers for the young goaltender.
If you compare the two goaltenders, as the Oilernation article I found has, the differences between Merzlikins and Korpisalo become clear. Although Korpisalo played 33 games compared to Merzlikins 28, Korpisalo’s save percentage was far lower, at .894. Whereas Merzlikins held a solid .916 save percentage. So, if one was traded, Korpisalo would make sense, based on numbers from last season alone.
So, what would the team be willing to give the Blue Jackets, for a decent goaltender? Sure, .894 isn’t the best, but it surely isn’t bad either. Korpisalo is worth something, and the Oilers know this. However, the price might put them off the idea of a trade. The article continues to state that the idea of a first-round pick, and an equally useful goaltender, has been the discussed price. (https://oilersnation.com/2021/07/30/dfo-rundown-cost-for-joonas-korpisalo-might-be-mikko-koskinen-dmitri-samorukov-and-a-first-round-pick/). It is a big ask. Only time will tell, but right now fans might not have much to worry about, as the dust begins to settle from Free Agency Wednesday. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Given the high total of goaltender injuries last season though, I’d advise trading Korpisalo this season. Next year he will be a UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent). We give him a chance to improve his numbers, then move him next year, if he doesn’t improve. We could afford this, as we have 2 first-round picks next season. If we can’t trade a goaltender for a goaltender, if need be, we can simply draft a new one and sign Merzlikins again.
How do you feel about this, CBJ 5th Line? Would you trade Korpisalo right now, or wait? If you’d trade him, to whom, and for what? Comment below!