Blue Jackets Rumors: Elvis Merzlikins Anticipating "Huge Changes" From New GM

Columbus Blue Jackets' goaltender Elvis Merzlikins is eagerly anticipating "huge changes" under the team's incoming general manager.

Amidst the organization's search for fresh leadership and a revamped roster, Merzlikins acknowledges the necessity of significant upheaval, especially given the team's recent struggles on the ice.

His remarks reflect a sense of anticipation and uncertainty regarding the future direction of the franchise, emphasizing the pivotal role the new GM will play in reshaping the team's trajectory.

“I’m expecting there’s going to be big changes. Huge changes, because we can’t keep going like this. There has to be change. We’re in the National Hockey League," Merzlikins said. "This is a professional league. the best players in the world. The organization is, I believe, going to do what’s best, and we’ll see during the summertime.”

The Blue Jackets have missed the playoffs three seasons in a row, and with the team currently dead last in the Eastern Conference (18 points out of a Wild Card spot), they're poised to miss the post-season for a fourth straight year.

Merzlikins recently made headlines for his reported "trade request", which his agent swiftly tried to downplay, saying the goaltender had misspoken.

A potential trade for Merzlikins wouldn't be the easiest task, as the 30-year-old has three years left on his 5-year, $27M contract ($5.4M AAV).

Any trade would likely involve Columbus having to retain a significant amount of his contract. Merzlikins holds a .900 SV%, 3.33 GAA, one shutout, and a 12-15-8 record across 38 games played this season.

That being said, Merzlikins is maintaining an optimistic attitude regarding the future of the Blue Jackets, hoping a new leadership can, not only make some "huge changes", but steer the team in the right direction and lead them back to the post-season. Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports