After assigning him to the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters on a conditioning stint 24 hours ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets have now recalled goaltender Joonas Korpisalo from Cleveland, the team announced. The team placing defenseman Nick Blankenburg on IR yesterday created the roster spot for Korpisalo, thus no corresponding move was made this morning. Interestingly though, Korpisalo’s return with no further move leaves the team with three goaltenders: Korpisalo, Elvis Merzlikins, and Daniil Tarasov.
The return of the veteran netminder couldn’t come at a better time for the Blue Jackets, who have seen Merzlikins and Tarasov both struggle in net to start the year. Korpisalo himself wasn’t much better last season prior to his season-ending surgery on March 24th, but if he can return to the numbers he was able to produce earlier in his career, it could be a breath of fresh air for Columbus. It will be interesting to see how the Blue Jackets handle this situation, as they currently carry three goaltenders. Of note though, Tarasov is waiver-exempt.
Korpisalo’s lone conditioning start came last night in Cleveland’s 4-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch, which featured a 38 save performance from the netminder. Although it was an AHL contest, it was the 28-year-old’s first game back since a March 22nd appearance against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and a 38-for-40 performance is surely intriguing. Should Columbus be able to expect more of the same, it could be a game-changer for the struggling Blue Jackets.