Oilers GM Ken Holland answering questions for the media.
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Star goalie on Oilers radar confirms that he's requested a trade

Published January 15, 2024 at 2:45 PM
BY LIAM
     
Today, the Columbus Blue Jackets completed a come from behind win against the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-3 in the shootout. Late in the game, Elvis Merzlikins was particularly fantastic, and made every stop in the shootout to lock down the win. After the game, Merzlikins was clearly emotional, and confirmed that he's requested a trade out of Columbus.


Merzlikins has been repeatedly connected to the Oilers, who have an obvious need for additional goaltending support. Merzlikins has clear talent, but has struggled in recent years and has becoming unhappy with the rebuild in Columbus. With four seasons left on a contract that pays him $5.4M annually, it'll be difficult for Columbus to find a team willing to take on the goaltender without moving salary of their own - which may be perfect for the Oilers.

Jack Campbell has an extremely similar contract as Merzlikins, with 4 years remaining at a slightly cheaper $5M annually. If the Oilers could maybe add significant assets to the trade, they could move Campbell's contract for Merzlikins, and acquire a goalie who's currently much more serviceable than Campbell.


Merzlikins struggled greatly last season, posting a 4.23 GAA and .876 save percentage in 30 games. This season he's improved but is still performing below expectations of his salary, posting a 3.22 GAA and .906 save percentage.

If the Oilers can get creative and the Blue Jackets are amenable to taking on Campbell's contract while they rebuild, this could potentially be a fantastic opportunity for the team to move on from Campbell and improve their goaltending in one move.
POLL
January 15   |   617 answers
Star goalie on Oilers radar confirms that he's requested a trade

Should the Oilers trade for Merzlikins?

Yes, he's what we need19131 %
No, he's no good17027.6 %
The money won't work out16426.6 %
See Results9214.9 %
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