The Columbus Blue Jackets signed goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to a one-year, one-way contract on Wednesday that will run through the 2019-2020 NHL season.
Merzlikins is expected to compete for the top goalie job with the expected departure of Sergei Bobrovsky. The 25-year-old Latvian signed a contract in March for the rest of the 2018-19 season, but apparently the Blue Jackets had to extend him before July 1:
#CBJ only had 2 goalies under contract for the 2019-20 season (Matiss Kivlenieks & Danill Tarasov).— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) May 15, 2019
The CBA requires that all clubs have at least 3 goalies under contract at any given moment during a league year. Meaning the club needed to sign a third goalie prior to July 1st. https://t.co/J10pdXn6Ho
Merzlikins didn’t see action for the CBJ (nor was he expected to), but he went 22-18-0 record with HC Lugano of the Swiss National League this season, posting a 2.44 goals against average, .921 save percentage and five shutouts (a career-high) in 43 appearances. He ranked tied for second in the league in wins, third in shutouts, fourth in save percentage and eighth in goals against average.
He is currently competing for his home country of Latvia in the IIHF World Championships.