Heading into the season, it seemed likely that Joonas Korpisalo was entering his final season with the Blue Jackets. His re-signing allowed Daniil Tarasov to spend one more year in the minors before moving up to the NHL full-time in 2023-24. However, as Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch suggests, Korpisalo’s performance this season coupled with his contract could make him one of their top trade chips heading into the trade deadline. While his numbers aren’t great on their own (3.53 GAA, .903 SV%), they’re considerably better than Elvis Merzlikins’ by comparison (4.68, .864). That, coupled with a low-cost $1.3MM expiring deal, could give them a chance to get a better draft pick they were offered the last time that Korpisalo was on the block.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Prior to their game this afternoon against Ottawa, the Red Wings announced (Twitter link) that they activated defenseman Olli Maatta off injured reserve. The 28-year-old is off to a nice start in his first year with Detroit, notching 10 points in 25 games heading into today’s action while logging nearly 20 minutes per game. That’s a pretty good early return on the one-year, $2.25MM that Detroit gave him early in free agency.
- A day after being papered down to the minors, the Avalanche announced (Twitter link) that they’ve recalled defenseman Brad Hunt from AHL Colorado. The 34-year-old inked a two-year deal with the Avs in the summer and has played in four games with the big club so far, collecting an assist while logging a little over 10 minutes per game. He has been quite productive with the Eagles though, notching six goals and 14 helpers in 22 games at the minor league level.
- There was some sad news in the OHL with the league jointly announcing with London that forward Abakar Kazbekov passed away today at the age of 18. Kazbekov was the first-overall pick from the 2021 OHL U18 Priority Selection and had played in 21 games in parts of two seasons with the team including in Friday’s game against Owen Sound.