Although Columbus recently inked goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year extension, fellow netminder Joonas Korpisalo told reporters, including Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch, that he hopes to still be able to remain with the Blue Jackets beyond the expiration of his current contract next summer. The 27-year-old has spent his entire career with the organization after being drafted in the third round back in 2012 but has largely been in a backup role during that stretch. With the commitment they’ve made to Merzlikins, Korpisalo, who is hoping to be cleared to return from his lower-body injury soon, will have a hard time landing a lot more than his $2.8MM AAV as the high-end backup market is typically in the mid-to-high $3MM range.
More from the Metropolitan Division:
- Still with Columbus, while defenseman Gavin Bayreuther’s time with Seattle was limited, it wasn’t due to a lack of interest from the Kraken. The blueliner told Jeff Svoboda of the Blue Jackets’ team site that he did receive a two-way offer from Seattle but knew that he’d be viewed as a player that was likely ticketed for the minors. Instead, he went to free agency and returned to Columbus where he feels he’ll have a better chance of sticking with the big club. Bayreuther averaged just over 15 minutes in nine games with Columbus last season.
- The Rangers are shifting winger Chris Kreider to his off-wing, notes Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The lefty will play on the right side with sophomore Alexis Lafreniere not being comfortable in that spot at this time. The move should allow Kreider to play a little higher in the lineup with youngsters Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov not yet ready for heavier workloads though that could change in-season.
- Penguins prospect Filip Hallander returned to full practice today after missing the start of training camp due to a lower-body injury, relays Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 21-year-old was re-acquired from Toronto back in July for forward Jared McCann and could push for a spot at the end of the roster to start the season.