Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins.
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Blue Jackets may be preparing to move on from 29-year-old netminder

Published January 12, 2024 at 11:02

The Columbus Blue Jackets entered the 2023-24 season with a lot of promise after selecting Adam Fantilli third overall in the draft, along with the health of star players Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine.

After three months, dead-last in the Metropolitan Division and appear to be on their way to another top-five pick at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft in Vegas this summer.

With the trade deadline approaching, one name to keep an eye on in Columbus is goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, who is currently in the second year of a five-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.4 million.

Merzlikins hasn't played for the Blue Jackets since December 29th, where they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime and on Thursday, Head Coach Pascal Vincent was asked why the Riga native hasn't played.

Vincent told reporters that the organization has been wanting to see what 24-year-old Daniil Tarasov brings, given that the season hasn't gone how they expected.

Meanwhile, According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Elvis Merzlikins declined to speak with the media on Thursday.

"#CBJ coach Pascal Vincent, when asked why Elvis Merzlikins hasn't played since Dec. 29, said the organization wanted to see what Daniil Tarasov could do with the job, especially considering the state of the season.

Merzlikins declined to speak with media today, per spokesman." Portzline said.

It's safe to say that Merzlikins is not happy with his current situation in Columbus, which is understandable. Whether or not he asks for a trade in the coming weeks is up in the air, but there's a very good chance that several teams will be interested in his services, if the 29-year-old is made available.

In 23 games this season, Merzlikins has a record of 7-8-6 with a 3.25 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.

New reports from Elliotte Friedman also state the Blue Jackets could be preparing to buyout the goaltender as well.

January 12   |   299 answers
Blue Jackets may be preparing to move on from 29-year-old netminder

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