Concern among Edmonton Oilers followers over the club's goaltending depth prompted suggestions they offer Mikko Koskinen to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Joonas Korpisalo. That deal, however, is unlikely to materialize.
With aging Mike Smith returning for another season and no viable starter within their system, some Oilers fans feel their club needs a better backup than the 33-year-old Koskinen. Shedding his $4.5-million cap hit could also free up valuable payroll space for the cap-strapped Oilers.
Pursuing the 27-year-old Korpisalo and his $2.8-million cap hit for this season seems like an improvement for some Oilers followers. They also proposed packaging Koskinen with a sweetener like a draft pick or a prospect as an enticement to the Blue Jackets.
However, Jim Matheson and David Staples dismissed that notion, pointing out Korpisalo's career stats are scarcely better than Koskinen's. Matheson also indicated Korpisalo, like Koskinen, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. They feel the Oilers are better off sticking with Koskinen and third-stringer Alex Stalock for the coming season.
Korpisalo was frequently mentioned as a trade candidate earlier in the off-season. That changed, however, with last month's tragic death of promising goalie Matiss Kivlinieks. On July 25, The Athletic's Aaron Portzline reported the Blue Jackets could at least start this season with their tandem of Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins.
The Oilers will have to consider other options if they seek help between the pipes. Staples suggests targeting the Dallas Stars' Anton Khudobin but he doesn't see them taking on Koskinen. It also depends on whether the Oilers are on Khudobin's four-team no-trade list.