Dec 3: Following Tarasov’s debut, the Blue Jackets have placed Korpisalo on injured reserve retroactive to December 1 with a non-COVID illness. He’ll have to miss seven days, meaning he’s out for a few more.
Dec 2: EBUG alerts all over the league today. The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled Daniil Tarasov from the AHL and expect to have him starting tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars, after both Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins were ruled out with a non-COVID illness. The team has an emergency goalie–Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch identifies him as Casey Sherwood, a 36-year-old who was briefly under contract in the ECHL nearly ten years ago–on the ice at morning skate. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic tweets that if possible, Merzlikins will serve as the backup, but Tarasov is expected to arrive in Dallas around 2 pm and start tonight.
The 22-year-old Tarasov has just 15 starts at the AHL level under his belt, after being selected by the Blue Jackets in 2017. The Russian netminder split last season between Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL and the Cleveland Monsters, though his time in the minors was not very impressive. This year hasn’t been much different, with an .897 save percentage in nine appearances, but there are still high hopes for the 6’5″ goaltender.
In fact, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff mentioned Tarasov in his latest trade targets column, which lists Korpisalo at the very top. With Merzlikins taking over the starting role completely and Tarasov “eventually waiting in the wings,” teams have called the Blue Jackets about Korpisalo’s availability. According to Seravalli, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen is aware that the netminder would be “open to an opportunity to play elsewhere,” though there has been no formal trade request to this point.
While decisions shouldn’t be made on one performance, Tarasov will at least get a chance to show where his development has taken him to this point by suiting up for his NHL debut.