The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Sunday morning that they have placed goaltender Elvis Merzlikins on IR. In a corresponding move, the team has also recalled winger Trey Fix-Wolansky from the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL. Merzlikins suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team had already recalled goaltender Daniil Tarasov on an emergency basis with the news that Merzlikins was expected to be out at least 1-2 weeks. Now with the goaltender on IR, the team could recall a forward as they deal with a rash of injuries.
Merzlikins had been off to a rough start to this season, recording a 4.74 goals-against average and .864 save-percentage in nine games. The injury clearly isn’t good news per se, however a break to rest, recuperate, and gather his thoughts might be helpful to Merzlikins nonetheless. As a replacement, Tarasov really hasn’t been much better this season with a 3.57 goals-against average and .893 save-percentage, but the organization does have high hopes overall for the 23-year-old.
In Fix-Wolansky, 23, the Blue Jackets will find quality depth and someone who has been, in a word, sensational with Cleveland this season, notching 10 goals to go with 12 assists in a mere 14 games. Yes, the NHL does get tougher and the winger has just six games of experience at the top level, all last year, but given the Blue Jackets’ struggles to start this season and their recent injuries, giving Fix-Wolansky a chance in the lineup might be on the horizon.