Shocking Number Of Teams Showing Interest In Blue Jackets' Merzlikins

When the news broke that Elvis Merzlikins and the Columbus Blue Jackets were working to find him a new place to play, the expectation was that there would be some teams that would show interest, especially some teams that are desperate in net. This is reportedly not the case as Pierre LeBrun said that there are absolutely no interested teams in Merzlikins at this time.

This does come as a shock considering Merzlikins has vastly improved his numbers from last season, from a .876 SV% to a .906 SV%. With a cap hit of $5.4 million AAV for three more seasons after this one, teams are likely scared of the commitment without more proof that his play will stay strong or get even better.

Merzlikins started his first two seasons strong with a.923 SV% and a .916 SV%, but his numbers have gotten worse each season over his first four seasons until this one. He hasn't exactly had great teams playing in front of him and the Blue Jackets definitely jumped the gun on signing him to a lucrative and long-term deal.

What is odd about this situation is that Merzlikins has put up much better numbers than both Daniil Tarasov and Spencer Martin, but the Blue Jackets just haven't played Merzlikins very much recently. They are seemingly out of the playoff race, so losing is what needs to happen, but that isn't the coach's mentality as winning is his priority as well. Not playing Merzlikins more when the other two goaltenders combine for a .882 SV% is very odd. With an opportunity to play on a team that isn't rebuilding year after year, Merzlikins would perform well. He does feel like he is a starter, and I would agree. It may take until the offseason to move him with money retained.

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