NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets RFA Goalies, A Crowded Market and Teams That Could Be Looking For A Goalie
The Columbus Blue Jackets have pending free agent goaltenders in Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins.
© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Blue Jackets have two pending RFA goalies

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: Can assume that the Columbus Blue Jackets and pending restricted free agent goaltenders Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins have held some contract talks.

Merzlikins did say last week that he didn’t know if there were any.

Both goalies are a year away from unrestricted free agency, so any deal will likely be for at least two years. Korpisalo and Merzlikins may not want to go more than three or four years.

Would guess that they would sign in the $2.5 million to $3.25 million range.

If the Blue Jackets were to trade one of Korpisalo and Merzlikins, the Cam Talbot trade to Edmonton in 2015 could be the best comparable. The Oilers sent the Rangers a 2nd, 3rd and 7th round pick.

A crowded goalie market

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: It is going to be an interesting offseason for the goaltenders.

The Washington Capitals being able to fit in a Braden Holtby extension won’t be easy.

Will Henrik Lundqvist be back with the New York Rangers?

Among the pending unrestricted free agent goalies include Robin Lehner (Golden Knights), Thomas Greiss (Islanders), Corey Crawford (Blackhawks), Jaroslav Halak (Bruins), Cam Talbot (Flames), Jake Allen (Blues), Jimmy Howard (Red Wings), and Mike Smith (Oilers).

“Every summer is a game of musical chairs for the goaltenders,” said Kevin Woodley, managing editor of In Goal Magazine. “It’s set to be as unpredictable a market as we’ve ever had.”

Howard and Smith could retire. The Capitals might be able to re-sign Holtby to a team-friendly contract. The same could happen with Crawford and the Blackhawks.

Which teams could be looking for a goaltender?

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks could be looking for a starting goaltender.

The Minnesota Wild and Carolina Hurricanes have two goaltenders each under contract through next season but could look to go in another direction.

There could be some goaltending decisions to be made in Ottawa, San Jose, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Teams also have to keep in mind that the expansion draft will be coming up.