Talks of trading Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins bubbled up earlier this year, and since then, everything and nothing has changed. We’re still in a pandemic with no real end in sight - the jury is still out on when a vaccine will be widely available, but suffice it to say that there are no immediate talks of getting slews of fans back into indoor arenas anytime soon. This is going to continue to affect the budgets of teams who are looking to wheel and deal at the upcoming NHL Draft on Oct. 6-7.
So where does that leave the CBJ goaltending situation? As I see it now, the Jackets have two starting goalies on their hands. As it stands, Korpi and Elvis are both currently signed through 2022, at which point they will be UFAs. Each of their resumes are tumultuous and short - they both had an overall good season, in my opinion, but other teams might want to see more development before producing a contract, what with money being tighter than usual this year.
This March article by Aaron Portzline for The Athletic enumerates the conditions of a potential goalie trade really well, and this recent synopsis by Corey Pronman is an interesting look at what all the teams in the league need right now, leading up to the draft. He makes an interesting conjecture that the Jackets are in need of more strong defensive players in the pipeline, to match with the young, strong offensive players we have up-and-coming. This school of thought would make a goalie trade more attractive - that is, whenever the Blue Jackets feel the money/time is right to part with one of two goalies who each had many moments of star power in their “debut” seasons.
I get way more emotional than is practical when I think about parting ways with a player I love, so I don’t feel like I’m in a good place to make any recommendations here. If it were up to me, both of them would stay in Columbus forever. Alas, I do not make the big bucks to make these kinds of decisions, so I can only dream. I also understand the lack of practicality in keeping both of them long-term.
Where do you all think they should end up? Should it happen before this trade deadline, or should they wait? Or, as paledragon suggested in our Slack this morning, should we look to trade one of them for a high pick from, say, Ottawa? Sound off in the comments.