NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets Expected To Trade Elvis Merzlikins This Summer

This summer, the Columbus Blue Jackets face a critical decision regarding goaltender Elvis Merzlikins.

Amid swirling rumors and a clear desire for a fresh start, Merzlikins has become a central figure in the team's offseason trade speculations.

With the challenges Merzlikins has faced both on and off the ice, including dressing room tensions and inconsistent performances, the Blue Jackets are keen on exploring trade opportunities.

The organization is looking to leverage his past solid on-ice skills and market appeal, despite a hefty contract that runs until 2026-27 with an average annual value of $5.4 million and a partial no-trade clause.

Over his first three seasons, Merzlikins held an impressive .913 SV%, 2.88 GAA, nine shutouts, and a 48-44-20 record across 120 games played.

Reports from sources like ESPN’s Kristen Shilton and The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline have indicated that a change of scenery could be beneficial for the 30-year-old goalie.

The Blue Jackets are expected to negotiate a deal that could involve retaining a portion of Merzlikins' salary to make him more attractive to other NHL teams looking for goaltending depth.

Over the past two seasons, the 30-year-old has an ugly .889 SV%, 3.77 GAA, one shutout, and a 20-35-10 record across 71 games played.

The potential appointment of a new general manager could further influence the direction and urgency of these trade discussions, as the team looks to reconfigure its roster for better stability and performance.

As the offseason unfolds, the Blue Jackets are anticipated to engage actively with multiple teams, exploring various trade scenarios that could include draft picks or promising prospects in addition to Merzlikins. Photo Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports