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Elvis Merzlikins and Blue Jackets Agree to “New Scenario”, Likely Part Ways

Columbus Blue Jackets’ goaltender Elvis Merzlikins has not requested a trade, but the Blue Jackets will find a “new scenario” for him.

According to a report by Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Columbus Blue Jackets’ goaltender Elvis Merzlikins said he has not requested a trade, but that he and the Blue Jackets have agreed to find a “new scenario” for him. The netminder noted, “I love Columbus. I love these guys. I grew up here.” Also: “I’m not a backup goaltender.”

Portzline added in a follow-up tweet, coach Pascal Vincent said Merzlikins will be on the bench Saturday vs. Seattle as Daniil Tarasov’s back-up. Merzlikins hasn’t seen game action since December 29th when he had to leave the game due to illness. Since that date, he has either served as the backup or been a healthy scratch without getting any playing time. Clearly, that hasn’t set well with the player or his agent. It’s the latter Merzlikins says has talked to the team and come to this understanding.

The Blue Jackets (CBJ) are currently rostering three goalies: Merzlikins, Tarasov, and Spencer Martin. Vincent clarified that Merzlikins’ lack of playtime is more related to Tarasov needing game experience rather than any specific issue with Elvis.

Can the Blue Jackets Trade Merzlikins?

While there are a number of teams looking for goaltending help, it remains to be seen if Merzlikins is the netminder teams see as a solution. He is under contract through the 26-27 season and carries a cap hit of $5.4 million annually. That’s not an easy fit for a number of teams.

Elvis Merzlikins Blue Jackets goalie

It’s been said many times by experts that he would most likely be traded over the summer if a trade were to happen. It is also assumed that the Blue Jackets would need to retain salary to get a decent return in any deal.

Next: Blackhawks Sign Nick Foligno to 2-Year, Lucrative Extension

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