The Columbus Blue Jackets have had a lack of reliability from backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have reached the point where they need to evaluate all options, specifically in the backup goaltending role. With Joonas Korpisalo‘s annual downward trend continuing with an abysmal save percentage and goals against average, despite a winning record, he’s not good enough to push the team to the playoffs behind Sergei Bobrovsky.
If Bobrovsky were to get hurt, Korpisalo certainly wouldn’t be good enough to lead the team to the post season either. As a result, the Blue Jackets need to look to external options both through the avenue of trade and free agency.
While there aren’t many phenomenal options available, there are quite a few solid and potentially game changing backup options that could come up in negotiations.
5. Kari Lehtonen
Kari Lehtonen is the biggest free agent available on the goaltending market and it comes as a surprise that the former Dallas Star has yet to find a home. Despite his struggles with Dallas over the past couple years, he had a rebound season last year. Last season, Lehtonen’s stats were better than any season Korpisalo has had except for his rookie year.
Lehtonen may not be a long term option, however as an option for one year until Elvis Merzlikins is ready to come over to the NHL, he could be a good filler piece. Last season, Lehtonen had a .912 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average in 37 games. Those stats prove that with a limit amount of starts, he can still be a capable NHL level goaltender.